Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-Passaic/Bergen) to prohibit buying, selling, making or altering high school transcripts with the intent to deceive was approved Monday by the Assembly Education Committee.
The bill was prompted by reports of improper student transcript alterations. Once recent incident took place in the Paterson School District where multiple basketball players at Eastside High School registered at the school with transcripts that were incomplete, altered or fraudulent.
“Transcripts are an important academic record. They should not be tampered with to make students eligible to play athletics,” said Caride, who chairs the committee. “This is cheating and makes a mockery of the educational process. If the concept of academic integrity and honesty does not deter individuals from engaging in such shameless behavior, hopefully the fine imposed under this bill will.”
The bill (A-4860) would prohibit a person from buying, selling, making or altering, giving, issuing, obtaining or attempting to obtain a transcript of high school course work with the intent to deceive. A person who violates this provision is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each offense.
“What happened at Eastside High School normalized cheating and placed athletics over academics. To think that adults were most likely involved is disheartening. What a terrible message to send to young people who look to the adults in their lives for guidance,” said Caride.
The bill would take effect immediately.