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Ex-Carver Elementary School teachers sue RPS superintendent, school board

RICHMOND, Va. -- Three former teachers at Carver Elementary School are suing the Richmond School Board and its superintendent after being accused of helping students pass state-sponsored Standards Of Learning (SOL) tests.

In 2018, Betty Alexis, Stephanie Burgess and Chireda Cotman were accused of correcting wrong answers on students' SOL tests after the  Virginia Department of Education issued a report about alleged irregularities in the testing at Carver Elementary. 

The day after the allegations were published, Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras spoke publically on the matter, criticizing the teachers, calling for their firing and recommending that their licenses be revoked. 

"The adults who orchestrated the systemic cheating violated a sacred trust with our students and our families," Kamras said. "I want to assure the public that the individuals involved will be help accountable. Pending board approval, no one who was involved with the scandal will be employed by Richmond Public Schools when the school year begins."

On Tuesday, Alexis, Burgess, and Cotman filed complaints in federal court claiming Karmas's and the school board's comments defamed them and violated their due process rights. They each seek $2.35 million in damages.

"His message was clear – he had already decided that the persons in the Report were guilty as charged and needed to be expelled from RPS," the complaint said.

The complaints further claim that Kamras and the school board made "numerous unfounded public statements,"  calling them cheaters and liars "without ever talking to the alleged perpetrators of the alleged testing irregularities, upon knowing that numerous people raised questions about, he veracity of the allegations made by the VDOE, and even after learning that many of the key allegations made by the VDOE rested only on hearsay."

CBS 6 reached out to RPS for comment and was told that they do not comment on pending litigation.

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