Suspended Newport principal says he gave 9 students extra time on state test

NEWPORT, Ky. -- A principal admitted to giving some students extra time on a state test after he was suspended due to reports of irregularities in the administering of state standardized tests.

Newport Intermediate School Principal Joshua Snapp has been suspended for 10 days without pay pending an investigation, Newport Independent School District officials said. 

In a written statement, Snapp said he gave nine students extra time on state tests. He implied that the students faced other obstacles in their lives like homelessness, hunger and abuse or neglect.

"I make zero excuses," he said. "As a leader, I made the wrong choice. I have let down my family, students, staff, administration and peers."

Snapp said it was an error on his part to give the students extra time.

"The staff at Newport Schools are dedicated and have a tremendous heart for those we serve," Snapp said. "I wished to protect them, our school and most importantly our students. My decision was rash and I regret it. I do not regret giving my entire career to these kids. And I'll continue to make changes, to grow and I hope for the opportunity to continue to give that same spirit to students.

District officials said they launched an investigation after someone reported irregularities in the state tests. The school district has been in contact with Kentucky Department of Education officials. Snapp could face additional action in addition to the suspension.

Snapp has worked in education for 17 years, including six years with Newport Independent schools, according to the district's website. He has previously spoken about the issues many of the district's students face. Last year, school officials said nearly one of of seven students in the district is homeless. Newport Intermediate School has a food pantry to provide needed items to students and their families.

"The last thing I can think about is math or reading. What I need to think about is survival," Snapp told WCPO last year. "They’re coming to school to eat. They’re coming to school for shelter, for structure, for support."

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