Should he be allowed to attend graduation?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by mincc, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. mincc

    mincc Companion

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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not going to win any friends here.

    He has not qualified for a diploma, not by a long shot. I don't think he should be one of the graduates, regardless of whether or not they plan to put a diploma in the case they give him.

    I say make him one of the speakers if they want, or a special guest.

    But he isn't one of the graduates because he hasn't completed the graduation requirements. Letting him participate puts you on a slippery slope for evey kid who couldn't complete graduation requirements because of incredible hardships. Sadly, that's a lot of kids.
     
  4. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Alice,

    You said exactly what some of the people are saying on the forum!


    It is becoming interesting to read! I imagine by the end of the day, there will be a lot of responses. They started this forum less than a year ago. Some articles generate awesome thoughts and ideas, but most result in vile name-calling and insulting. It scares me that I may be living near these people. I think this thread will stay mild until the politics start. One woman stated that if this student was the son of an educator/political person this would not be an issue-the boy would walk. She is absolutely correct. They call this county the political cesspool-the politics and nepotism and favoritism are disgraceful.

    I am really curious to see if this article results in a change in the school board's decision!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that, if it had been done quietly, it probably wouldn't have been a big deal.

    But once publicized, the school board is backed into a corner. If they allow a student who hasn't completed the graduation requirements to walk with the graduates, then what happens next year? How many credits can you be short and still appear to graduate? What circumstances are extenuating enough to merit special consideration?

    I feel for this boy; he obviously has been through a lot. But then I think of some of the kids I know, two in particular. Both are in my school, one currently a Junior and the other one of my 7th graders. Both lost their dads in the World Trade Center, and both are still having issues. The older of the 2 kids completed a stint at a treatment center for substance abuse; he made up the work he missed and will return in the fall as a Senior. The younger of the 2 kids is struggling academically (and has medical issues completely unrelated); the school is trying to help him as much as possible, but he stil needs to pass. (He did in math.)

    Anyway, my point is that lots of kids have lots of issues. I'm not sure it's the smart thing to publicly change what you mean by "high school graduation."
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Alice, I agree with you. It's not about being heartless towards the boy, it's about respecting the accomplishments of those other graduates. There's no reason why he couldn't be allowed to speak, and even perhaps given an "honorary" diploma like they give at college commencements to speakers, but to actually let him take part in the ceremony as though he earned it is wrong.

    And Alice you are also right in that if they allow *this* case to win, what will stop others from using the same argument.

    We used to have a policy of keeping an empty seat in the line if a senior passed away his senior year. Well then one year, the district faced two awkward situations: at one high school, a parent complained because her son died his sophomore year, and she still wanted a seat for him. At our high school, two kids were killed in a drunk driving incident just three weeks before graduation ON THEIR WAY TO SCHOOL -one was in one car, driving drunk, the other was in another car, sober, and was an innocent victim. It was a horrible accident. It happened on the main road that led into our school, so lots of kids/parent/buses had seen it. There was a lot of anger as you can imagine. Anyway, there was a huge controversy over whether we should have kept an empty seat for both. Fortunately the district stepped in that year and made it official policy that there would be no more empty seats.
     
  7. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    My dad didn't get to participate in his graduation for 60 years!! He was supposed to graduate with the class of 1942, but because of the war he was sent to an internment camp so he missed the ceremony. His diploma was mailed to him (supposedly)
    The Fife High School graduating class of 2002 shared their stage with the 8 surviving 1942 graduates. It was a tearful night!
     
  8. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    I think if he is planning on making up the credits through the summer or first of next year, he should be able to walk with the graduating class. My son had leukimia and is behind in school because we started him lateer than usual. (but we homeschool). If people knew how much those kids go through with Chemo treatments and hospital visits and stuff, they wouln't be protesting.
     
  9. Amers

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    I understand him wanting to walk with his friends, and he's been through a lot, so part of me does want to say just let him walk...who will it hurt.

    However, like other posters have said, allowing special circumstances for 1 child puts the district in a corner. If you make an exception for 1 student, you will be asked to make exceptions for other students.

    I like the idea of giving him an "honorary" diploma like they do at colleges. I hate to say it, but the fact is, he doesn't meet the educational requirements for graduation. They're not saying he can't walk, becuase he is sick. They're saying he can't walk, because he hasn't finished high school.
     
  10. teachingmomof4

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    I would have to agree with the other posters as well...he didn't earn it (yet) so he should not be able to walk. It is very unfortunate that he is sick (great that he is in remission) but he has not earned the diploma as of yet. I would also agree that if they make an exception for one, they would have to for all.
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I can definitely agree with letting him be a special guest at the graduation, let him speak about his experiences. However, I don't think he should walk in graduation. I honestly can't see where walking with his friends would make him feel good. I would think that the whole time the speeches go on about the future, he would be thinking about what he still has left to face to truly graduate. Plus, once he does earn the credits, then what? Would walking a second time feel as powerful? I say have him as a guest and leave the walking until he truly earns it and can really celebrate.
     
  12. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    If he is so many credits behind, why is he finding out just a few days before graduation that he will not be able to walk? This is an issue that the school should have brought to their attention months ago! They should have never been allowed to order a cap and gown!

    If he is going to summer school, he should be able to walk. Think of all of the people in college who walk in May but finsh thier degree over the summer months.....same thing!
     
  13. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    This is a special case and should be looked at as a case by case issue.
    What would be the merits of not allowing him to walk?
    What would be the merits of allowing him to walk?
    This sounds like a zero tolerance issue. Which are failing in the courts all over the nation.
     
  14. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    No.

    The ceremony is for students who have completed ALL requirements and have EARNED their diplomas.

    When exceptions are made, everybody else's "walk" is cheapened.

    Only genuine graduates should walk this walk. Anyone who didn't EARN it, has no place there.
     
  15. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    HOW CAN “someone who has cheated death a few times in the last few years." AND "suffers from Tourette syndrome, had appendicitis this past fall and broke both his wrists six days after his chemotherapy ended this past January. He has endured about 44 spinal taps.”:wow: AND ONLY be lacking 20 credits CHEAPEN SOMETHING???:confused: ("he plans to finish by the end of July") If I was in his class I would feel it an honor to have him walk with me. Again it is a case by case issue. He should be allowed to walk.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    In Texas, most districts let the kids who have not passed the TAKS but have gotten all their other credits walk during graduation. I think if they haven't passed it in the twelve or so times they have taken the test, they should not be allowed to impersonate a high school graduate during the ceremony.

    This case seems to be a bit different than the outright failures here in Texas. I couldn't get the link to work so I don't really know what all this kid has gone through. (My dial-up keeps stalling.) I think the idea of making him an honored guest at the graduation will honor all of his struggles without giving him something he hasn't yet earned. I don't think he should be totally excluded since he has gone through so much.
     
  17. Amers

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    I have a question about the 20 credits...if I remember correctly, at my HS, you got 1 credit per class. At my HS, 20 credits was A LOT. Are other schools different? Does anyone know what 20 credits at this school means class wise?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

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    Even if it's the collegiate three to four, that's still five classes at minimum.
     
  19. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Graduation is not a social gathering of friends, doing their thang together one last time. Graduation is a ceremony honoring those students who COMPLETED ALL requirements and have earned a diploma. I wish students who are getting nothing but a certificate of completion were not permitted to 'walk' with those students who actually earned a real degree. Graduation has nothing to do with 'self esteem;' graduation is the presentation of a legal document that (is supposed to, anyway. . . .) represents a guarantee of mastery and completion. (these days, of course, diplomas are 'given' to just about anybody whether they earned them or not.)

    I have nothing but admiration for this young man, but he hasn't graduated yet so he should know better than to even ASK to be included in a culmination ceremony he is not qualified to participate in!

    "Graduation: the successful completion of a program of study; Conferral or receipt of an academic degree or diploma marking completion of studies."
     
  20. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    I agree with you. The article says he's short 20 credits, that seems like a lot to me. If he was close or was only missing a few credits which could be completed over the summer, I'd say go for it. I feel badly that he's been ill, but it just wouldn't be appropriate.
     
  21. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    It can't be too much since he plans to be finished with the credits in July.

    Maybe he is 90% finished in the missing 20 credits they did not say he wasn't in the classes he just hadn't finished them.("he plans to finish by the end of July") :confused:
    If "He hopes to enroll at Camden County College this fall" he must be close
    (I know some CC allow non-graduated students in).

    Compassion people Compassion :angel:


    If this case does not deserve a review then the policy is just too ridged. zero tolerance run amuck. Rules is rules is rules

    Read "Pigs is Pigs"
    http://www.ellisparkerbutler.info/epb/biblio.asp?id=2149

    A great example of rules run amuck.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

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    If he's in good enough shape to be able to finish properly and to plan for college in the fall, then there seems no compelling reason to bend the rules. Compassion in this case, it seems to me, properly consists of saying, "You weren't able to earn the units, despite your best intentions and ours. It happens, and it isn't fun, but it isn't the end of the world, either."
     
  23. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Well I seem to be in the minority here.
    I am not a black and white issue type person there are Gray areas, had this been a perfectly fit person who just blew off the classes I'd say "no walk" but this is a young man who in the prime of life has been given a blow that would crush many. He has worked hard (I am assuming he is a a hard worker or that would have come out by now).
    They would not be rewarding non work, they would be rewarding his drive and fortitude under distress what more can a graduation be the symbol of? It is not just finishing 13 years of public school. (K-12)

    The Idea of making him a guest sounds Like a workable compromise not as rewarding but a compromise just the same.
    Maybe his classmates will stand up for him and push for him to be included .
    Compassion people Compassion
    :love: But I still love all of you who have the wrong view LOL :love:
    This does not sound like my usual conservative statements. I must be getting soft.:D
    It is father's day I am being grandfatherly
     
  24. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    My nephew went to school with an amazing young man who was diagnosed with a brain tumor his senior year. He spent that year at hospitals and didn't even come close to graduating. They compromised. He did wear his cap and gown, but he didn't walk with the class. He sat in the front of the group and received a certificate (I think they called it a certificate of achievement.) It's a small town so everyone knew that he hadn't graduated. He passed away about a week and a half after graduation. I think that something like this would work for this young man. Again, as I wrote, let him walk when he truly graduates, so that he can celebrate, but definitely let him be part of the graduation.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    1. If I was a fellow student I would be honored for him to walk. IN NO WAY would I feel that my diploma would be CHEAPENED by this.

    2. If I was a board member making a decision I would be very stressed by this. There are numerous students with extreme circumstances.

    3. I watched, literally watched, my young mother-in-law die of leukemia. I can only imagine how hard the illness has been on him physically, but more than that, mentally! You're supposed to be "living it up" at 18, but instead he has been thinking about his death.

    4. If he will be finished the summer, there is no question: let him walk. Around here, students who must attend summer school to finish their credits are allowed to graduate with their class.

    5. Just because he is planning for college doesn't mean he is necessarily in good enough shape to do so. People make plans out of hope sometimes.

    6. Most will see this as a stretch, but what about those with learning disabilities who don't "earn" a degree by learning what the state has mandated students learn. They walk, as they should, because accomodations have been made.

    7. There are some cold people in this world.
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To equate an honest belief that a rule is appropriate with "coldness" slams the door on discussion.
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Not so, Grammy, but far otherwise. I am not asking that people who disagree with me abandon their opinions. What I am asking is that all of us discuss the opinions as opinions, rather than issuing judgments about the people who have them. And, yes, there IS a difference between the two, and, yes, that difference does matter.
     
  28. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Well, then I will have to erase my comment because people are so thin skinned when it comes to disagreeing. say good bye to it. Sorry.
     
  29. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    There now no one will be offended by my thoughts, which by the way, come straight from the heart. I'm not a RULE person and I am not a logical thinker . I have always thought with my heart and will continue to do so until the day I die. So, stick to the rules everyone and whatever you do, don't ever think outside the box.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (mildly)

    It's an interesting tactic, if the goal is discussion.
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    TG, that's exactly right. Everyone posted their comments and I posted mine, but you took mine personally so that is why I erased mine. Apparently, I am not entitled to post how I feel on this thread because it differs from many others.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In fact, Grammy, yours wasn't the post I was originally responding to.
     
  33. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I know that too, but the "other" person is entitled to say what she feels just as well as you or anyone else on this thread. I am sick of people getting sooooooo mad and bent out of shape because someone has a soft spot in their heart for people in distress.
     
  34. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Now I find that this definition is what we are talking about.

    Main Entry: cold
    Pronunciation: 'kOld
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old English ceald, cald; akin to Old High German kalt cold, Latin gelu frost, gelare to freeze

    2 a : marked by a lack of the warmth of normal human emotion, friendliness, or compassion ; also : not moved to enthusiasm b : not colored or affected by personal feeling or bias : DETACHED, INDIFFERENT ; also : IMPERSONAL, OBJECTIVE


    and again it is an opinion it does not mean we don't love :love: you any more. Opinions help us grow, the cold people should warm up some :D AND we warm and fuzzy people should chill some:cool: .

    I still respect you and your opinion but I don't have to like your opinion.

    A great philosopher once said "Opinions are like bathrooms everyone has one and they all stink once in a while."


    No poster was attacked in this post but most Opinions need to open the window
     
  35. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I agree with allowing him to be part of the ceremony, but not allowing him to walk. I understand that he plans to complete the 20 (GEEZ, where I am that's 20 CLASSES!) by the end of July. However, there is NO way of knowing IF he will SUCCESSFULLY complete them at this time. I really feel sorry for this kid, he has truly been put through the wringer. In fact, I would put his rights ahead of some kids I graduated with who earned their diplomas by taking the minimum number of classes -- specifically, the easiest ones. This kid has probably learned much more than they ever will, and I applaud him for it. As for obtaining his diploma, unfortunately, he hasn't earned it.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (mildly)

    Checking the prior posts indicates that I never said that those who believe the young man should graduate with his class are not entitled to voice that opinion.
     
  37. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Well great. You have said and done everything correctly and I have not, so I am a bad girl. Shame on me.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nor have I said that, nor do I.
     
  39. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oh yes you do. You are the good one on here. Great job, TG.
     
  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Grammy, has it by any chance been a rough weekend for you?
     
  41. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Are you kidding?? Did you not read my post on the big girl panties thread?!! Perhaps I had too much fun(or sun?)
     

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