NAACP, congresswoman voice support for teen accused of cheating on SAT
Kamilah Campbell says she increased score from past test by 300 points
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is joining the demands for the release of the SAT scores of a South Florida student accused of cheating on the test.
"I know from an example that you have to work hard and study and focus to achieve your dreams. And I'm not going to let ETS take away from me what I earned," Kamilah Campbell said.
Campbell, a senior at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in Miami, is accused of cheating on her SAT. She claims it's simply because she increased her score by 300 points.
"We're asking that you give her the score that she earned. Not what you think she got," the student's mother, Shirley Campbell, said.
On Wednesday, Campbell's attorney, Benjamin Crump, demanded that Educational Testing Services validate Campbell's score from her October test or face possible legal action.
On Friday, Crump added that the company has yet to even present any evidence of cheating.
"It's real clear and simple," he said. "If you accuse somebody of cheating, if you defame someone's character, than the burden is on you. It is not on the person accused to prove their innocence."
Crump said his office has been contacted by at least a dozen other families who claim the very same thing happened to their children.
Now, more voices are joining in the fight in support of Campbell, including the local NAACP and at least two Miami-Dade School Board members.
"I think it is high time that we elevate the discussion around this issue, and what the data will reflect is that too often, there's issues that malign certain communities, certain children, specifically children of color," a representative from the NAACP said.
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, released a statement Friday in support of Campbell.
"As a mother and a former educator, I was extremely disappointed to learn that Kamilah Campbell's SAT score is being challenged after she showed marked improvement in the second exam," Wilson said. "It is my understanding that the first test that she took was a practice round for which she had not prepared. Before taking the second test, however, she spent a significant amount of time studying and took an SAT prep course. Her hard work and diligence paid off and she increased her score by about 300 points."
Wilson said she is looking into the matter.
"I am very concerned that this incident may send the wrong message to young people, especially those who need more incentive and support than Kamilah to push themselves to excel in school and pursue higher education," she said.
ETS would not comment specifically about Campbell’s test scores, but said in a statement: "After every test administration, we go to great lengths to make sure that all test scores we report are accurate and valid. In order to do so, we sometimes take additional quality control steps before scores are released."
Campbell has created a GoFundMe page, which states that she may now be forced to pay for college without scholarship assistance due to her SAT score being withheld.
The website states that Campbell is "unable to accept money for legal fees," but will spend the funds "at her sole discretion."
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