Several students in our area will not be marching on graduation day. Not because they failed a class, but they did not meet state requirements on a graduation test.
We have reported this issue before in other areas of the peach state, but for some parents and students in Seminole County, it has them so angry they say they are planning on boycotting graduation.
They are angry, some heartbroken, all strong emotions towards a Seminole County School Board policy that does not allow students to march in the graduation ceremony if they have not met state requirements Georgia High School Graduation Test.
"If you fail one portion of the test, that don't justify not marching, not graduating with your classmates and the people you have been with your whole high school career," says Phillip Daniels, an angry student.
Parents and students are so upset that the school bard will not change its policy; they have started a petition in protest.
Michael Crockett, who is not allowed to march, says, "It makes you feel good that you have got people that is going to be behind you even though you have not passed the test."
Even students who are able to march may boycott
The ceremony in a show of support for their fellow
"I was considering not walking if there was anything I could do to help make a difference in this situation," says Terrence Mitchell, who may boycott his graduation.
School officials say a boycott will not make a difference, saying while it is an unfortunate situation, and rules are rules clearly written in black and white.
"Now whether or not we think it needs to be changed, we certainly need to think about the possibilities of addressing it," explains Michael Cutchen of Seminole County Schools.
Whether the issue will be addressed is unclear at this time.
However, students are given five chances to pass the exam, and those who have, will be recognized at the gradation ceremony, possibly without a few of their classmates.
Twenty five students have requested the school board mail their diplomas to a church where a separate ceremony could be held this week, this one including students who did not meet requirements on the graduation test.