Allow seniors to participate in senior functions
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I, along with seven other students, worked hard in school to earn my credits and graduate ahead of our class in December 2014 and we are now being told we cannot attend any senior functions.
Our last day of school was December 19. Two days before, on the 17th, the December graduates were called to a meeting with the counselor. At this time we were told a decision regarding prom had not yet been made, but that we could attend all senior activities.
Throughout the spring we all contacted the principal and the board of education to ask if a policy had been made. When John Porter, a parent of an early graduate, spoke with the principal, Ms. Hughes, in mid-February, a decision had not been made. He continued to attempt to contact her throughout March and was again told that there was no policy. The following week he met with her again and she said that the graduates were told from the beginning that they would not be allowed to attend prom as students. This was not true, but when he asked for an explanation as to why we could not attend she continued to tell him "because we told them no." Several parents attended a board meeting, but the board of education said they had no jurisdiction over the matter. The meeting took place on March 19, two days before prom. An article was printed in a local newspaper and a news story was aired. Following the news broadcast, John Porter was told his daughter and the other graduates would not be allowed to attend any senior functions or activities.
My family called the school and requested to meet with the principal on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 2:30 in the afternoon. My mother, grandparents, and myself met with Ms. Hughes at this time. We sat down in her office and told her we had heard we were not going to be allowed to participate in senior activities and we asked if this was true. She told us yes; we were only allowed to attend graduation and we knew from the day we met that we could not participate in other functions. She said she met with each of us individually to tell us this. I haven't met with my principal since spring of my 11th grade year when I was approved for early graduation. Not only did she not meet with us, we were told through the counselor, who was speaking for Ms. Hughes when we held our December meeting, that we could without a doubt participate in these functions. When my mother spoke with the principal to initially approve my early graduation she was assured we were welcome to attend these events. Ms. Hughes told my family and I that at senior picnic there will be slip-n-slides and if she allowed me to attend and I "broke my pelvis" she would be responsible for me, because I am no longer on the roll, and she could even lose her home over it. I asked if my parents and I could sign a waiver and she said it would not hold up in court. I asked why we could not participate in memory day and she told me simply because I am no longer on her roll. Memory day is a program for seniors. Seniors wear matching t-shirts and walk out onto the gym floor holding hands, as a class, as one. A slide show is shown, including names and pictures of every student. Clubs and groups put on slow motion skits. It is a very emotional time for students, parents and teachers.
Ms. Hughes was rude and unprofessional. She accused us of "ganging up" on her. We asked questions in a calm manner and no voices were raised on our part. We were asked to leave and we were told if we want to speak with her again it will have to be done with Dr. Spivey, her supervisor and superintendent.
We are being excluded from all senior functions, including senior dance, and others. We are being punished for excelling. I am a full time college student and I work several days a week. The others are all either full time students, have full time jobs, and one girl has signed an 8 year contract with the military. She had above a 3.9 GPA. We were all good students. This is not right. We are class of 2015. Please join us in our fight to attend our senior functions.
*Early graduates include: Belle Porter, Coleman Cross, Emily Smith, Jackie Rouse, Lexus Rouse, and 3 others.
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