June 3, 2014
I wanted to take a minute to thank you for the wonderful section on the 2014 graduates. That publication served as the only public acknowledgement of my daughter graduating. You see, she attended the Alternative School and those students are not included in the commencement ceremony. Why was my child in Alternative School, you ask? She was there for “chronic misbehavior” as the school terms it. Basically for using profanity and backtalk. She was not there for drugs, tobacco, weapons, fighting, being aggressive, or even committing theft by taking against other students (no, those two boys did walk); she was there for having a smart mouth and using profanity twice at the beginning of the school year. Her actions hardly ever even drew an OSS punishment, usually it was just ISS. Without warning or even a conversation beforehand to say it was being considered, one incident immediately thrust her into Tribunal, where Alternative School was her next stop. I write this letter hoping to make the public aware. It is too late for my child, as the ceremony carried on without her, with no acknowledgement that she even graduated, but for future students in this same predicament. Is the public even aware that this county practices this policy? I want them to know and I want the school system to reconsider this punishment. These students are not second rate citizens; they are children who made a mistake or some mistakes, and should not lose the right to celebrate their high school graduation like all other graduating seniors. I only have one child; neither myself or my husband graduated, and to lose the opportunity to celebrate her’s was a heartbreaking experience that I can never get back. I want change in this policy so that no other student, or their family, will have to go through the heartbreak that I endured last week.