ATLANTA - A former Atlanta Public School principal has resigned after allegations that he bullied employees into changing failing grades to passing.
An APS spokesperson says Boris Hurst was transferred from his principal position at B.E.S.T. Academy when an investigation started in 2012. Hurst resigned effective March 6, 2013, after he was presented with details of the allegations.
Hurst was hired as principal when B.E.S.T. moved into a new building on Donald Lee Hollowell Boulevard in N.W. Atlanta in 2010.
Allegations are that beginning that very year, Hurst threatened teachers with discipline and even termination if they refused to change grades.
"My son would come home and say, mom, some of these boys can't read or write," said parent Valerie Irvin. "And he said under no circumstances will these boys fail."
Among the 51 allegations listed in the school system's letter to Hurst are claims that that in 2011, Hurst allowed the majority of B.E.S.T. students to pass, even though only 17 out of 95 boys were performing at grade level in reading and math."
During a faculty meeting that year, Hurst allegedly told his teachers, "I don't change grades, I don't tell you to change grades. But if you don't do all the requirements then your grades will be corrected," according to the letter.
Another allegation is that Hurst did have one teacher re-assigned to another school because she refused to change grades.
All of this comes on the heels of Atlanta's CRCT cheating scandal that cost Superintendent Beverly Hall her job. The new administration now requires employees to pass a yearly ethics test.
"So there's no room for someone to not understand what the expectations are," said school spokesperson Steve Alford.
During the investigation into B.E.S.T. Academy, Hurst allegedly told teachers, "You better have my back. If you don't, I'm going to get you," according to the letter.
11Alive reporter Jerry Carnes visited Hurst's home and left messages on the former principal's voice mail. Efforts to contact Hurst have been unsuccessful.