A Texas school district has postponed graduation after 85% of students failed to meet the requirements to receive their diploma.
Students at Marlin High School took a 'victory' lap on Wednesday and had been preparing for graduation later in the week, when Marlin ISD Superintendent Darryl Henson announced that just five out of 33 students would be eligible to pass following an internal audit of attendance, grades and credits. Seniors in the school's alternative education program were not included in the tally, NPR reports.
School officials worked with students over the weekend and this week to help an additional 12 students resolve missing credits and other issues as of Wednesday evening, Henson said. But the district opted to call off the ceremony until more than those 17 students can graduate.
The announcement was made via the school's Facebook page on Wednesday.
According to GreatSchools.org, Marlin High School has a 2/10 rating.
Just 12% of low-income and underserved students graduate prepared for college, while 37% of all other students are considered 'ready.'
"It's emotional" for the affected students, said one parent during a Wednesday meeting with administrators in the school auditorium. "They get their hopes up: 'I'm graduating next week! I'm at Six Flags!'" she added, referring to the senior trip from the previous Friday.
The school's director of human resources, Jesse Bustamante, told parents that "the support was there" - a statement which students disagreed with.
One student said that when she was told she needed to do "credit recovery" for an online class earlier this year, it took three months — and repeated email requests — for the school to make the class available to her. -NPR
The school's deal of instruction, William Ealy, said the school notified parents that senior students weren't on track to finish on time - and that they had held an open meeting, called parents, mailed a notice and offered to host meetings.
"Let this be a lesson learned for all," tweeted superintendent Henson. "As we continue to go through our annual graduation audit, it's our obligation to ensure that all students have met all requirements."
"Students in Marlin ISD will be held to the same high standard as any other student in Texas," he added.
Our district will grow from this setback. Let this be a lesson learned for all. As we continue to go through our annual graduation audit, it’s our obligation to ensure that all students have met all requirements. Support, accountability, & integrity will remain at the forefront. pic.twitter.com/Pm1B2m1W9Y— Dr. Darryl J. Henson (@DrHenson2) May 25, 2023
According to the district, changes are coming to Marlin, as the school will convert to a four-day schedule next year in what the district's chief academic officer, Nikisha Edwards, says should reduce absentee rates.
Can't be absent when you get the day off!