HISD employee accused of falsifying students' attendance records

June 8, 2013 4:19:31 AM PDT
Lamar High School's graduation is this weekend, but we've learned that at least one high school student paid the office clerk to mark her present when she was really absent. That office clerk is now under investigation.

Students say the alleged attendance scam has been ongoing for most of the school year and that administrators only found out about it a few weeks ago. And while the office clerk is off the job, the investigation is still ongoing.

"I will be graduating. I will walking across the stage this Sunday," student Chandler Rougeou said.

Rougeou is relieved she is still graduating after being caught up in an attendance scandal still developing at Lamar High School.

"If someone tells you, 'I'm excusing you for the day,' and you're being excused, of course you're going to leave; you're just not going to just stay," she said.

Rougeou says school clerk Gustavo Argueta allegedly contacted students via social media all semester, offering to alter their attendance record from absent to present -- for a price.

"How many days did you take?" Rougeou said.

"I think just three class periods," she said.

"Where he marked you as here?"

"Yea, excused."

HISD says a teacher overheard students talking about it at school and administrators questioned around 10 students. In a statement, the district says:

"One of the two students admitted to paying money to an office clerk to change records. The clerk has resigned and the investigation into this matter is ongoing."

We went looking for Argueta. He wasn't home, though his dad did confirm he worked at Lamar.

HISD says the two students involved served detention but will be allowed to graduate. And Rougeou is grateful.

"I think everyone should be allowed to graduate because I don't feel like it's our fault," she said.

The school district says its investigation shows only two students were involved but students we've talked to say they think there were more.

As for how much Argueta charged, it was allegedly $10-$20 per period.

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