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RISD: Only one test altered with racial slur; School district official says original test did not include insensitive materials

This image showing an altered test question, which the local school district said was in no way a representation of an actual test given to students, appeared on social media about two weeks ago. (Submitted Image)

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The Roswell Independent School District continues to investigate what it has termed a “serious” matter regarding the allegation that a Roswell High School student altered a course exam a couple of weeks ago to include offensive material, with a district official saying that photos circulated on social media do not depict any part of a genuine exam.
“While some photos of the altered question have been circulated on social media and (were) represented as an actual part of the exam, RISD wants to advise the public that the original test did not include any questions containing racially/culturally insensitive materials,” said a statement from Brian Byrd, RISD director of human resources. “Any photos on social media of inappropriate questions show the altered/tampered portion of the test.”
Byrd’s statement continued, “Furthermore, aside from the alleged alteration of the particular question, it does not appear that there was a breach of any other portion of the exam.”
The alleged alteration of a biology End-of-Course, or EOC, exam showed a question about the DNA characteristics of a certain race of people, using an offensive term in reference to that race. It appeared on at least one student’s social media site on May 11, although that student might not have been the one who changed the test.
Byrd added that the district is aware of only one test being altered. Exactly how the test was able to be changed or how the images appeared on social media is not known at this time.
However, both state and district officials said that the integrity of test systems has not been compromised by what occurred.
Roswell Police Department spokesman Todd Wildermuth said that the matter does not constitute a crime.
Byrd said that the district will work with state educational officials to prevent future alterations.
“Once the investigation is completed, the district will begin assessing with (the New Mexico Public Education Department) on how to avoid such breaches in the future,” his statement said, “and also, the district will consider discipline of those who were responsible in this instance.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com