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Opelousas principal hires Baton Rouge attorney

Opelousas Junior High School.jpg
Posted at 6:57 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 20:28:00-04

Opelousas Junior High School Principal Dr. Monica Fabre has hired Baton Rouge-based attorney Jill Craft to represent her.

Thursday, Dr. Fabre was placed on paid administrative leave, accused of changing students' report card grades.

Five of the thirteen St. Landry Parish School Board members answered our calls for comment. The majority declined to speak with us, citing the ongoing investigation.

Board member Hazel Sias said Superintendent Pat Jenkins sent the board a message Thursday morning about the investigation.

Sias said, "On May 28th 2020, a story was aired on KATC concerning an investigation at Opelousas Jr. High School concerning the improper altering of student grades. I along with the rest of the St Landry Parish School Board was informed of this investigation by Superintendent Patrick Jenkins on the morning of May 28th, 2020 at 10:30 AM by electronic correspondence. At this particular time, I have been informed that the principal of Opelousas Jr. High School, Dr. Monica Fabre, has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is in progress. The St Landry Parish School Board has very little information concerning this investigation at this time.
The St Landry Parish School Board will be working very closely with Superintendent Jenkins to ensure that this investigation is resolved in a fair and transparent manner."

Board member Anthoyn Standberry said, "I was surprised to hear the allegations." He also said the Superintendent texted him about Dr. Fabre. Standberry went on to say, "This is a personnel matter and you should speak with the superintendent."

District 5 school board member Denise Oliney Rose said, "I have no comment at this time. I think I would be out of order if I spoke because this is an ongoing investigation."

"I'm surprised by the allegations, but this is an ongoing personnel matter and I'll have to refer you to the Superintendent," said District 12 board member Albert Hayes, Jr.

District 7 board member Josh Broussard said, "The superintendent texted saying we have a situation. I'm disappointed and I hope that the allegations, which that's what it is and that there isn't anything. Right now, I have no data to go on. I don't have enough facts to go on and I only received very limited information. I'm concerned that our children will be served appropriately." We asked Broussard for a copy of the text and he would not agree to send a screenshot.

Fabre's attorney says the principal hired her several years ago after issues with the superintendent, and accused Jenkins of trying to "sully Dr. Fabre's name and secure her termination." Craft said, "As with his other attempts, we fully expect him to be unsuccessful again."

Superintendent Jenkins declined to comment.

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