Principal who gave fake test given written warning by district

The Volusia County School District is revealing how it responded to its investigation into placebo tests being administered at Mainland High School. 

Hundreds of students were given an unofficial test by the school’s principal. 

The placebo AP tests deemed them ineligible to receive the college credit they thought they could get if they passed the end-of-course exam. 

Some students got the real test, most did not, which mean many students will not get credit for the year-long advance placement course. 

The District confirmed, Monday, that the school’s Principal Dr. Cheryl Salerno and a district administrator were reprimanded with written warnings.

“That’s shocking to me, I don’t understand how that could be even possible,” said Jen Reilly, a Mainland High School parent. “Dr. Salerno was slapped on the wrist, so the only ones really paying are the students that got duped.”

The letter to Salerno reads in part that the investigation “has concluded that there is cause for disciplinary action.” 

The letter details that Salerno is being reprimanded for allowing only some of the students to take the official exam and for telling the teachers not to tell the students they would be taking a fake test. 

The letter then warns if in the future such unprofessional conduct is exhibited, it could result in her firing.

Jen Reilly says her daughter, Molly, who took a fake test can’t believe the news.

“Today, she’s just beside herself, as I would be, as you would be if I worked super hard for three college credits at the age of 14 and then had them ripped away from me,” Reilly said.

Reilly tells me she wants to see Salerno removed as principal. She also wants the district to make it up to the students.

“I was hoping they would say something about the students and how it could be remedied, that they could get the credit they absolutely earned,” Reilly said.

In the meantime, Volusia’s teacher’s union is calling on the district to clear the teachers' names. 

President Elizabeth Albert released this statement: “Our greatest concern is that the teachers are held harmless. They raised concerns from the beginning, yet were told not to worry about it. We are asking that the district publicly state that the teachers had no part in this debacle beyond following the directives given to them by their superiors. Teachers are advocates for the students they serve and we will not allow the poor decision making of the district to diminish in any way the character and integrity of our teachers.”