High School Secretary Changes Daughter's Grades Electronically

Filed under: In The News, Mommy Wars


A mom takes her daughter's grades into her own hands. Photo: Marja Flick-Buijs/sxc.hu

How do you know when you've become a little too entangled in your teen's life? Changing her grades to improve her class standing on a school computer is probably a red flag that you've crossed that line.

Caroline Maria McNeal, a high school secretary and mom of a 2008 graduating senior did just that. Not only did she tamper with daughter Brittney's test scores -- in one case, changing her SAT score from 1370 to 1730 (which is actually kind of clever because it could just be perceived as a typo except that she put the score in a week before any other students' scores were entered) -- she also changed other student's grades as well so that Brittney's class standing would be improved.

Bad move, mom.

McNeal didn't just mess with SAT scores, though. Officials figure that since 2006, she's changed over 200 test scores or grades. Besides losing her job and likely causing her daughter a quite a bit of embarrassment, McNeal is facing criminal charges -- 29 felony counts each of unlawful use of a computer and tampering with public records. Her attempts to help her daughter "get ahead" may have instead gotten her time behind bars ... or at the very least, a pretty hefty fine.

So what was her motive -- was it to get Brittney into a better college? Or was it just bragging rights? McNeal's not commenting on the story, but I bet she's starting to understand that trying to make her daughter look smarter was a pretty dumb decision.

Here are some (legal) ways to help your teens improve their grades, and most experts say that a good night's sleep and a solid breakfast go a long way toward helping kids in school too.

What do you think? Does this mom deserve jail time for her actions? Or should she be let go with a fine and/or probation?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.