Beaufort High principal resigns after altering student grades (Update: Facebook petition)

Beaufort High Principal Dan Durbin.

Update March 3: Get the latest here.

Update February 25: In the wake of Durbin's resignation, a grass roots effort has emerged on Facebook -- and the page name explains it all: "Reinstate Dan Durbin at BHS".

The page has 752 "likes" supporting the cause and contains a smatter of sentiment supporting Durbin -- both his actions and him as a principal. The most recent post notes that a fund to support Durbin has been set up at the Wells Fargo Bank on Lady's Island.

See the page here, and below is a smattering of the more memorable posts. Further down you'll find more details about the circumstances of Durbin's resignation. 




First reporting: The Island Packet writes that Beaufort High School principal Dan Durbin will resign on Friday after it was discovered he was breaking rules related to "data entry and students' grades". 

Head on over to The Island Packet for the story.

Evening update: The school district has issued a formal release -- while in many ways it echoes the information in the Packet's report, the release adds additional certainty that Durbin's resignation was prompted over manipulating student grades improperly.

The release stated that it was, "200 grade changes affecting 33 students".

Not yet clear is why Durbin felt justified in making those changes.

Update February 24: Durbin spoke with The Island Packet about why he changed student's grades and why he believed his actions were fair and justified.

In a nutshell, it seems that for 33 students Durbin upgraded previous grades on lower level material after a student's later success on higher level material. Durbin says he meant to motivate students.

You can read a release from the district announcing Durbin's resignation below:

This morning Dan Durbin submitted his resignation as principal of Beaufort High School effective Friday, February 24.

Normally, the district would not make any other comments regarding this personnel matter. But with Dr. Durbin's permission, we can say that earlier this month, the district office received a report that a Beaufort High School teacher was concerned that the principal was changing student grades. An internal investigation by a district office team was conducted, and based on its preliminary findings, a separate inquiry was conducted by an external team. Among the findings was that Dr. Durbin had made 200 grade changes affecting 33 students. When presented with the data, Dr. Durbin took full responsibility for making the grade changes, explained his reasoning behind each incident and offered to resign.

The district can provide more details if Dr. Durbin provides a signed release to that effect. Without his authorization, the administration will be limited in the topics it can discuss.

In accord with the law, the district will not discuss details of any individual student's academic record.

Terry Bennett will serve as Interim Principal at Beaufort High School until the search for Dr. Durbin's replacement has been completed. Mr. Bennett is an experienced administrator in Beaufort County having previously served as Principal of Lady's Island Elementary School and Lady's Island Middle School. He currently serves as the district's Director of Grants Management. 

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