Louisiana School Scandal

The founder of T.M Landry Prep celebrates an admit into Cornell. Photo Credits: Yahoo.com

The founder of T.M Landry Prep celebrates an admit into Cornell. Photo Credits: Yahoo.com

Grace Kim, Section Editor

How far will you go to get into your dream school? Harvard? Yale? Possibly Cornell?  A school in Louisiana notoriously known for their viral acceptance reaction videos to elite universities such as Ivy League schools are under fire today for falsifying their records. In order to get students into these high achieving schools, the staff, including the principle, took part in meticulously falsifying academic records, making up accomplishments, and utilizing the stereotypical “African American hardship tale” to get their students accepted. In fact, according to Today News, “one concerned parent had his child assessed at a learning center and found he was performing two grade levels behind.” To make matters worse, there were also physical and emotional abuse involved. In a interview by New York Times, 46 parents, teachers, and students testified in the abuse directed by the founders of this schools, Tracey and Michael Landry. Students were forced to kneel on hot pavements, punished by choking, and verbally abused almost daily. Speaking of the founders, Tracey and Michael Landry weren’t even qualified to start their own school. Tracey Landry had a nursing degree while Michael Landry was a salesperson. Despite the evidence that had surfaced, Tracey and Michael Landry are still denying any wrongdoing.


For many students, these type of scandals are a slap in the face. Despite stellar academics and credible achievements, several students are still denied from those exact schools. Falsifying records will put a student’s chance of getting into their dream school in line. Amber Li (12), a senior at Yorba Linda High School, feels that “it isn’t right.”


Once a student gets in with a fake application then what? The New York Times took the effort to reach out to each school in order to assess the success of students from Tracy and Michael’s academy. Although there was a small percentage of students who were able to succeed in their courses, several others were unable to follow with the strict curriculum. Asja Jackson, who was accepted into the prestigious university of Wesleyan, decided to leave due to the stress and anxiety she felt from her classes. In her interview, she quoted “I didn’t understand why people around me were doing well, and I wasn’t.”


Not only falsifying records, but there are other ways people try to cheat the system. One method that shocked the country was a scandal in which students were taking the SAT, a standardized test for college admission, for other students in return for monetary benefits.


In the end, it is always best to follow the rules. Cheating or falsifying records not only puts other students’ admissions into jeopardy, but also the applicant.