Tammy White created this campaign on Change.org when she learned that her alma mater, Carrollton High School, was not going to allow Austin Fisher to walk at his class's graduation in May. Fisher, a student athlete with good grades who cared for his mother during her treatments for terminal breast cancer, missed two more days of class than permitted by school policy and had been told he would not be walking because of these absences.
Tammy's petition spread like wildfire. In just days after she started her campaign for Austin, local media outlets, and then national media like CNN and Yahoo! Sports, told Austin's story. More than 100,000 people signed Tammy White's petition.
Following intense public pressure, Carrollton school superintendent Palmer Folger met with the Fisher family and informed them that Austin would be allowed to walk at graduation.
"The support has been amazing for Austin Fisher," said Tammy. "We were all a part of making sure that Austin Fisher will walk at graduation. It's been a wonderful day for all of us who helped Austin. Together, we can accomplish great things."
I have included a copy of a letter written by Angela Howard to my hometown paper.
To the Editor:
The class of 2012 deserves some recognition for all of their support and compassion for a fellow student who will not be permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies in May. His classmates have rallied around him, offering their support. They have even gone as far as to circulate a petition asking that he be allowed to join them as they walk across the stage.
Austin Fisher is not a troublemaker nor does he have failing grades. This brave young man missed too many days of school caring for his sick mother and taking her to cancer treatments. Not every family has outside support.
The school board could learn a lot from these young men and women from the class of 2012. Board members were elected because we felt they could make good and right decisions for our school and its students. How is this decision right? Put yourselves in this family’s shoes. If you were the sick parent and your child missed too many days caring for you, wouldn’t you still want to see your child walk across the stage, especially after everything your family went through? Wouldn’t that give you something to look forward to?
The community needs to get behind this issue. It does take a village to look after our children. High school graduation is a once in a lifetime achievement and Carrollton Schools is taking this joyous and proud moment away from a cancer-stricken family who has already suffered so many hardships this year. It is just wrong.
Bless this family and please “Let Fish Walk.”
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO HAVE MY ALMA MATER ALLOW THIS COURAGIOUS STUDENT TO GRADUATE WITH HIS CLASS. HE INDEED DESERVES IT REGUARDLESS OF MISSING A FEW DAYS. HE IS AN OUTSTANDING STUDENT , WITH GOOD GRADES, AND A BIG HEART.