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State formally launches investigation into EBR Schools

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BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Education formally launched an investigation into discrepancies among student graduation records within the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.

The investigation is for school years ending between 2010 and 2013. State investigators will interview administrators and look at all relevant electronic and hard copy records. 

The News 2 Investigative Unit reported Wednesday there are allegations that a school board member's relative received a fraudulent diploma. There are also allegations that students cheated during online testing.

"It is egregious anybody would try to cast aspersion on these kids and hard work they achieved in the classroom," Superintendent Bernard Taylor said.

During our interview, Taylor got agitated and had enough of the interview.

"We can either ask another question or be done," Taylor told Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto.

A whistle blower alleges a school board member's relative received a fraudulent diploma, and a top school leader knew about it. Taylor denied that the state was looking into that.

"No they didn't," Taylor said.  "They didn't say that either... that's not true either."

However, News 2 received a letter the state sent Taylor Thursday. It focuses on issues involving the discrepancies with graduation records. Investigators will be looking at electronic records along with hard copies of things to get to the bottom of what's going on. They will also be interviewing administrators.

News 2 asked Taylor about the records the state will review.

"Were any records changed in this building yesterday," Nakamoto asked Taylor.

"That's so foolish, I'm not even going to entertain it," Taylor said.

"Were you aware of any records being changed in this building," Nakamoto asked in a follow up.

"I'm not going to entertain any question that has no legitimacy with an answer," Taylor said then ended the interview.

The state investigation could last three weeks. 

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