At issue is a course for which Taylor Long was given credit, but which should not have been allowed because it was taken at a church school — apparently her father’s church — New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
She was not allowed to walk with her classmates on graduation day, and an area superintendent now faces possible disciplinary action.
Angela Pringle is one of five area superintendents, but when the dispute arose in May, she also held the position of principal at Arabia Mountain High School in south DeKalb County.
On the eve of graduation, school, Tyson received a complaint from a parent.
That a student was going to march and did not have all the credits required to march, said DeKalb County School System spokesman Rodney Jenkins.
The school system did not identify the student, but Channel 2 has confirmed that she is Taylor Long — the daughter of Bishop Eddie Long.
The school system told Belcher that Tyson ordered an internal investigation and asked the state if the bishop’s daughter could use the disputed course to graduate from Arabia Mountain.
The Department of Education immediately came back and said that this course was not valid toward graduation, said Jenkins.
The school was not a DeKalb County public school district school. It was a religious-based education, said Jenkins.
So Taylor Long was not allowed to walk with her Arabia Mountain classmates in May, but she should finish this summer.
Potentially more severe consequences await Pringle, on whose watch the student was going to be allowed to graduate using an invalid course.
Belcher is told that the investigation of Pringle should conclude within the next week.
The superintendent must make sure that our administrators and staff people, as well as our students and families, get treated equitably, said Jenkins. A spokesman for Bishop Long’s family emailed a statement on the family’s behalf that said, We are proud of our daughter who fulfilled her graduation requirements and has enrolled into an institution of higher learning to continue her education.
The family’s statement does not address the disputed course or the school system’s investigation of Pringle.