Should he be allowed to attend graduation?

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

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Too much fun can be nearly as stressful as not enough, can't it?
     
  2. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Not in my book(but that's just MY opinion!
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (chuckling) True.
     
  4. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    :love: TG this post could be miss construed as a "shut your mouth":love: kind of statement but I understood you were responding to JustMe but was JustMe responding to you or people in the article?:love:
     
  5. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Grammy and IrishDave......I agree with you both. And that is my final answer!!!!!!!!:p :D
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Well, good night everyone. I still love you, even if you don't love me.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

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    (chuckling and shaking head)

    Good night, Grammy.
     
  8. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 18, 2007

    As the official resident cold person on this forum, I stand by my previous words. However, I do have a student who has cancer in one of my classes this summer session (I also have a student who had a heart attack in my class last Thursday, no doubt because the quiz was too hard and the teacher too mean. . . .) and I emailed this girl and asked her what she thought of this issue.

    Here is her reply:

    "Jane, I would bet it's this boy's parents who are pushing this, and not him. People with cancer aren't stupid, well, only if they were already stupid before Malignancy (a lesser-known Disney villainess) wrapped her tentacles around their guts. I would be humiliated if my parents wanted exceptions made for me. I would feel very condescended to (You poor thing, Francie, we want you to hang with us even though you didn't do the work we did, poor poor Francie) and believe me, pity is the last thing I need right now. What I need right now, from school, and you, and everybody, is recognition for things I actually did, not things I might do IF I DO GET THE TIME, poor Francie, give her the degree NOW before she kicks the bucket, she's only got a few credits to go, let's just give the poor thing her degree. I hate that attitude, and I want awards and degrees and good grades only if that's what I earned, by myself. I say, let this boy graduate when he graduates, and not a minute before. When people want things they haven't earned, because they're somehow "special, " it kind of makes me sick at heart for the future of the world. I'd like to be in remission right now, but asking for a paper that says "remission" would be a joke, because it isn't true. If they give this guy a "diploma" when he hasn't earned one, would be a joke, too. But like I said, I bet it's his parents who are pushing, not necessarily him. And if it is him, he should be ashamed cuz he's demanding something that isn't rightfully his. Me and the rest of the Cancer Clinic Crew say, Poo on you, ya big baby!"

    Thanks for asking me, Jane. I wish more people would just out and ask me this kind of stuff. I may be a little fragile right now but I ain't dead yet. I don't want to be buried till I AM dead, and this guy shouldn't get his diploma till he HAS graduated."

    Love, Francie

    ==

    I missed all the Grammy drama; what happened?
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Grammy was dramatic.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    And Grammy has to work tomorrow , up at 6, so it's her OPINION that she must go to bed. I hope no one disgrees with me, but if you do, that is ok because I am a bad girl and rarely agree with anyone on anything(except my grandson) because he is pure of heart and we love everyone together and life is bliss when you are with a child like him. It rubs off.
     
  11. Mamacita

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    I find that hard to believe, Grammy. (That you were dramatic.)
     
  12. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Mamacita just when I had a thing going you have to come in with reality :rolleyes:
    As you know opposing views can be quoted But I do thank you for the real world coming from your friend. Sometimes we mistake pity for concern.

    My son's (serious) current GF has cancer it is in remission or stopped, she is a sweet girl and a perfect match for him and my grand daughter. I have concern about her she has told me she can see it as concern and has told me not to show pity.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I wasn't calling anyone in particular cold - although I could, of course. Rather, I was making a general statement that it is my personal opinion that some people lack compassion. Well, scratch that, because I'm going to declare it fact that some people lack compassion. :)
     
  14. Mamacita

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    I'm going to declare it as fact that Francie is spot-on correct.
     
  15. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Come on now it is still only HER opinion too.

    Hmmm A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.
     
  16. TeacherShelly

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    Irishdave, I agree with you that a compassionate response would be to let the young man walk with his class. I disagree that his experience would cheapen that of the others.

    I suspect he's finishing 20 credits (which could be four or five courses), not starting from the beginning and completing them all. Finishing them could mean writing term papers, taking exams, not necessarily enrolling and starting from day one.

    Walking later with the kids a year his junior would not be the same. Good grief, this young man has moved mountains and now people are worried about what precedent it would set to let him walk down the aisle with his class. This case should be outside the decision-tree.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Wow, there I was, enjoying Father's Day, and missing all the fun.

    I'm sorry if people who share my opinion are thought to be "cold." It's amazing how much you can tell about me, merely by my opinion on a single issue.

    For what it's worth, namecalling aside, I stand by my original opinion. Make him a speaker at the graduation. But students don't graduate until they've fulfilled the graduation requirements.

    I do have some questions though. Each of these students is a real student from my school:

    1. Gianna is a Senior who just graduated from my school. Her brother, a Junior at my husband's school, was killed in a car accident on New Years's Eve. Had she not passed her courses, should she have graduated with her class anyway? (For what it's worth, she did pass and she did graudate with honors.)

    2. Andrew is a Junior in my school. He lost his dad in the World Trade Center on 9/11. His older brother is handling it all OK. Andrew has struggled-- a LOT. He was recently treated for chemical dependency and made up the work he missed while he was at treatment. His grandfather and aunt live with the family; both are dying of cancer. If he ends up back in treatment next year, and he doesn't pass, should he graduate with his class anyway?

    3. James is a 7th grader in my class. He, too, lost his dad on 9/11. For months he had nightmares, waking up and asking his mom how many flights of stairs daddy fell down. He also has Asthma and a variety of serious allergies. He misses quite a bit of school as a result. Should James have to complete his coursework in order to graduate with his class in 2012?

    4. Keara is another of my 7th graders. She's the oldest of 4 kids and has always struggled a bit academically. She lost her mom in October to cancer. She's just starting puberty and she'll face it without a mom. Should she have to complete her coursework in order to graduate with her class in 2012?

    I could go on and on. Sadly, there are SO MANY kids with serious issues. True, I guess I'm cold and heartless, but my heart breaks for every single one of them.
     
  18. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Jun 18, 2007

    an update

    There will be an emergency school board meeting this morning to see if he can walk. The students are graduating at 4 p.m. today.

    I have a feeling they will allow him to be there.:)

    I will keep you all posted, as the paper/news will update soon, I am sure.
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Thin skinned people..."If you can't run with the big dogs, please stay on the porch." No one called anyone a "name." For cripes sakes.
     
  20. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Alice, while I understand what you are saying, your points all involve tragedies and experiences to another loved one in these children's lives. They are not the DIRECT RESULT of a child being critically ill. These are all different scenarios which just goes to show that each incident is individual and so should be looked at as such.
    It did say in the link I read that he is not looking for his diploma, he just wants to walk with his friends. I guess I don't see the "scandal" in this. It is interesting to see differing points of view, however.
    Perhaps my views are tainted as I have a sister, niece, mother, and aunts who are all leukemia/lymphoma survivors. My heart must just have a permanent soft spot for people who have gone through this.:love:
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I would really love to see us be able to discuss a topic without it turning into a mud slinging contest. I tell my kids all the time, you don't have to agree, you don't have to like each other, but you do have to treat others with respect. I think that's what happens a lot on here. People get caught up in their posts and forget that simple manners should be followed here. A person shouldn't and isn't defined by their opinions. Rather than blasting someone for what they think, maybe we should all take a step back and look carefully at what they are saying.

    My heart goes out to this young man and his family. I just think that having him walk now, rather than when he does graduate, would be hard for him. CB (my nephew's friend) didn't speak, he just sat there to be part of his class. Around here, if they don't earn the credits, they don't walk. There are an alarming large number of kids who don't pass the GEE (or whatever we are calling it here now) and find out at the last minute that they can't walk. Since the young man is planning on earning his missing credits, then he should wait and walk at that point when he can really celebrate what he has accomplished.
     
  22. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Well I'll call names
    you, ..... you, ....... you are all a bunch of...........





    teachers .......

    there I said it, I feel better
     
  23. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    LOL, cute Dave!
     
  24. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I have not read any one posts on this. I do want to say I worked with two very ill high school students in the past. They both have lyme disease. They lived a mile apart and were the same age, same grade. One worked very hard and graduated on time. The other worked hard but because he was so sick just could not complete all the requirements. He had to finish his last year of high school behind everyone else. He graduated with my sister's class last year. He completed all the work required of him and the diploma meant so much more than if he had just been given it because he was sick. So yes this student should not walk this year. He should complete the required high school credits and walk next year, and be able to hold his head high because he completed the work, not because someone felt bad for him and just gave him a diploma.
     
  25. weno88

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    There were at least 2 girls in my class who graduated early. They were one or two classes away from the requirement, and would finish up in the summer. They weren't allowed to walk the stage. Students who missed the requirement by failing one class weren't allowed to walk either. Since he's behind by 20 credits I don't think it should even be an issue.
    I do have compassion for this person. He has obviously been through a lot. It is very sad to miss out on this milestone, but he would not be the first person to do so. I think he should attend the ceremony as a guest and go to project graduation (or some other after graduation activity) with his friends to celebrate.
     
  26. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Jun 18, 2007

    He is attending

    The school board reversed the decision and Christopher will be walking.

    http://courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070618/NEWS01/70618013

    Apparently, the media has now become very interested.

    I agree with the decision because he is NOT getting the diploma, and he will have the necessary credits completed this summer. I also think he has faced a horrendous and personal illness and yet he accomplished so much through all of that. I really pray he lives a good, long and happy life.

    I understand why so many of you will disagree with the decision. I respect all of your opinions and I am glad you shared them. I will keep up with any updates that should happen...
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    So that's the determining factor?

    How about Kelli? She's anorexic and missed 2 months while she was out of state at a treatment facility. Also, Andrew (the Junior who lost his dad on 9/11)-- does his time at treatment count, or not, since he could have chosen not to become addicted to his Aunt's painkillers?

    My point is that by comparing the stories, we trivialize the suffering. Each of the kids (including the one in the original story) has suffered in ways I can't imagine. But we can't compare one with the other.

    To make anything but academics the deciding factor for graduation is to set ourselves as judge and jury of who has suffered "enough" to warrant a waiver of the rules. I know that's not a role I want. So I say the academics should be the deciding factor. I think it's the compassionate thing to do.
     
  28. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Never said it was.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    No, I understand that. And I appreciate the way you phrased your post.

    But I stood there today proctoring. As it turns out, both James and Keara were in the room I proctored. And I was thinking about how unfair it all is. How, at age 12, they know so much more about grief and suffering than I do at 48.

    And I wonder about the other kids-- the ones I don't teach. If I'm one of 12 math teachers, you've got to figure that there are a LOT of kids in my school with similar stories that I just don't know. And a lot in every school... the numbers are frightening.

    And that's not even counting kids like Olivia. She has 2 parents, but they're just too busy to care much about her. They're hoping that prayer, not parenting, will get her through.

    It's overwhelming to think of all the kids out there who would qualify as "special cases", depending on how you define the phrase.
     
  30. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Alice that is very true. Life seems so unfair to have children suffer so much. It is beyond our understanding!
    I guess I looked at this as fulfilling a critically ill child's wish to be able to walk with his friends.......he wasn't planning on receiving a diploma. Makes me think of the "make a wish" foundation. I believe this boy really wanted it, not just the parents.
    I see all sides of the opinions.......and understand where everyone comes from in their points of view.
    It is a heartbreaking situation no matter what happens.
     
  31. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I am so glad to hear it.

    KK, I was just thinking this reminds me of the makeawish foundation, too, where a wish could be given to a terminally ill person (not saying he is or isn't terminally ill), and that's what will happen today for this kid.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

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    Yes, indeed it is. And when a situation is so emotionally charged, it's doubly important to keep the discussion to the situation - it doesn't make it any less painful, but at least it makes it easier for us to keep listening to each other.

    Thanks, all.
     
  33. Mamacita

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    So that's that, then. What a genuine, earned honor. What will they do if the student doesn't finish by fall? Will they let him into college anyway because, poor thing, he had problems?

    I do not mean to discount his problems; he had them all right, but I agree with Alice: where do we draw the line?

    Perhaps schools should just remove their written requirements about attendance and passing grades, altogether? Pass everybody along every time, whether they deserve it or not? What does "earn" mean, anyway? I've got bills to pay and a serious disease, myself; should I give up and expect the State to pay them for me? Maybe I should request extra time since I'm sick? That is not how I was raised; my father would turn over in his grave if he thought I would ever ask for special favors or preferential treatment of any kind. I don't even use the handicapped parking hangtag my doctor forced on me!

    It came as a surprise to me, back in the beginning of my career, before many of you were born or thought of, that prospective employers often inquire as far down the line as junior high, about a prospective employee, and the FIRST question they ask is about attendance. They figure, and rightly so, that a student who didn't/couldn't/was unable to/etc. attend class regularly would be an employee with the same work ethic/problems/whatever that would make an impact on the workplace. Their second question was attitude, their third is usually behavior, and grades did not seem to be all that much of a priority as long as the student passed.

    I believe that an employer has the right to expect that an employee with a genuine diploma would be able to read, write, comprehend, do at least basic math, learn anything else that might be necessary for a particular job, and use these skills to support himself/herself and any others he/she is responsible for. That employers can no longer rely on a diploma to ensure these things is a disgrace.

    I am not saying this young man hasn't got the brains to finish eventually; I was merely stating the fact that at this point in time, this young man hasn't proved it yet by finishing. Let him be a guest, let him speak, let him wear a cap and gown, but don't let him walk.

    But then, if the decision is already made, I'll shut up.

    But I can't wait to hear what Francie has to say in class tonight. I do know that she graduated a year behind her class because of frequent hospitalization, chemo, etc, but she waited until she actually qualified to get her diploma. She is not the kind to ask for special favors.
     
  34. TeacherShelly

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    Note that he isn't getting a diploma. He is not getting a diploma. He didn't ask for an unearned diploma.

    He is getting the pomp and circumstance. That is all. Some think he earned a celebration with his classmates. None think he earned a diploma, and he isn't asking for or receiving one.
     
  35. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Well I thought I was keeping the discussion to the situation.:confused:
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

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    You were indeed keeping to the situation, kinder, and thanks again.
     
  37. JustMe

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    Jun 18, 2007

    This is frustrating.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    What's frustrating, JustMe?
     
  39. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Well, I suppose it just boils down to some people's opinions. But, oh how boring the world would be if we all thought alike. :)

    You know, I can imagine about five or so people on this board in some type of "reality house". I'm not much on reality television, but I must admit that it would be very interesting!
     
  40. TeacherGroupie

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    It is indeed very frustrating when one is not able to persuade someone else of what seems self-evident. And, yes, the world would be very boring indeed if we all held the same beliefs. I don't insist that we hold the same beliefs about this issue, but I do ask that we not make the leap from "this BELIEF is (insert negative appraisal)" to "this PERSON is (insert negative appraisal)".

    As for reality shows, I wouldn't last a minute, and I know it. Some of us just never quite outgrow the teacher groupie stage...
     

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