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Island Coast High School under investigation for testing fraud

Posted at 7:17 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 15:40:05-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — An Island Coast High School employee claims she reported testing fraud at the school and then the principal retaliated against her.

Attorney Ben Yormak said when his client Vicki Santini’s complained about the fraud, her biggest concern was passing students who shouldn’t get promoted.

“What winds up happening is those students get left behind,” said Yormak. “The district looks like its passing muster, and meeting all of it’s goals, when really it’s not. And that’s a shame, and that can’t happen.”

Yormak said right after Santini’s fraud claims, the district and Principal Michelle Cort-Mora silenced her with a misconduct investigation, and then moved her to another school.

“It seems once the allegation got made, they were looking for anything and everything to try to put a bullseye on Ms. Santini,” he said.

A spokesperson for the district said they’re actively investigating fraud allegations. School Board Member Gwynetta Gittens said she can’t comment on the ongoing investigation, but the district is doing looking into claims and doing what they can to prioritize student achievement.

“Our job is to do whatever is necessary to make sure that every child succeeds,” she said. “If it’s something we need to fix or to change, then we will do that.”

Yormak said pending investigation results, he hopes the district makes necessary changes

“Just do the right thing. It’s what we teach our kids. It’s time for those in charge to do the same,” he said.

As of now Santini has not filed a lawsuit against the school district but Yormak said that option is not off the table.