MHS Coach Among Teachers Accused of Cheating

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Six Mississippi teachers have been indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme in which teacher candidates would hire others to take certification tests.

Among them is Meridian High School physical education teacher and football coach, Carlo McClelland, 34, was charged with mail fraud.

"The said employee in October was placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation," said Meridian superintendent Dr. Alvin Taylor. "We are just like everybody else, just waiting on the outcome of the investigation."

McClelland faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, if convicted. His teaching license would also become null and void.

Teachers in Tennessee and Arkansas have also been implicated.

The case stems from a 45-count indictment returned by a grand jury in July that charged Clarence Mumford, Sr., of Memphis, with fraud and identity theft.

Mumford is accused of being the ringleader of a group of individuals who were paid to take teacher certification examinations on behalf of aspiring teachers dating back to 1995.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that the Mississippi Department of Education says it is working with the school districts and the Department of Justice and will take any necessary actions pending the investigation's outcome.

The newspaper listed the others under indictment:

Former Jim Hill High School teacher and coach Samuel Campbell, 38, of Jackson, who was charged with wire fraud; Columbus High School special education teacher Darcel Gardner, 34, of Columbus, who was charged with mail fraud and placed on administrative leave; and Sarah Richard, 44, of Richland, who was charged with mail fraud and fraud related to identification documents.

Jadice Moore, 40, of Port Gibson continues to serve as a teacher’s aide at Port Gibson Middle School despite a charge of mail fraud, according to Claiborne County schools Superintendent Elijah Brown, who said the district is conducting its own investigation.

Kimberly Taylor, 36, of Charleston is still employed at Charleston Elementary School, where she is listed as a fourth-grade teacher. She also was charged with mail fraud.