Change Back Prom Policy

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Hello, I'm James McGrath one of the Grade 12 students at East Northumberland Secondary School. I have recently been made aware that the Prom Policy has changed to disallow students with poor attendance to attend the dance. 

While I understand the policy was put in place to discourage people from skipping class, this not only affects them but the students who rightfully miss class as well. I am proposing the policy be changed in favour of those who miss class for valid reasons.

People miss class for plenty of reasons. While, a lot of the time, it is due to skipping, there are other reasons for people to miss a lot of class. 

  1. Illness, whether mentally or physically. 
  2. Lack of transportation.
  3. Other valid reasons for missing school.

Let's start with the big one, physical or mental illnesses prevent a lot of students from attending classes. While, most often, the school board knows of these complications, there are times when a student is suffering from these issues without knowledge of the school board, family, friends or whoever is close to them at the time. It is impossible, not only, for the school board to know of every single student's life situation but also address every student's life situation within this short period of time, if at all. Students with illnesses should not be forced to address them to complete strangers, let alone be punished for things that are out of their control. 

Yes, it is possible that students do have a lack of transportation during certain times such as the winter months. Buses are provided to most of the school division but we shouldn't pretend everyone has a way to school every single day. I will use a person close to me as an example. In April 2016, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Not only did it take almost a year for proper transportation to be put in place, she still has issues with it today. She missed a lot of school due to her lack of transportation because her family couldn't afford to quit their jobs to drive her to school every morning. 

Other valid reasons for missing school include extracurriculars, both within the school and outside of it, work (some students have to work to support their families), lack of family support and family emergencies. 

There are many reasons for students to miss a lot of school. While some are obviously not acceptable in any form, most of the time, it is due to actual issues that affect only that student and/or their family. Students should not be punished for mental or physical illness. Students should not be punished for having to work to support their family. Students should not be punished because the school lacks the proper funding to provide transportation for every student. Students should not be punished for uncontrollable circumstances.

Thank you. 



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