Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Should this kid be allowed in the ceremony?

Special needs senior can't be in commencement, GPS says

A teen with special needs wants to be with the kids he grew up with when the graduate. He's been attending school with them, has been doing is own work -- but since he won't actually complete his academic work to graduate until four years from now, the school district says he can't participate.

They fear it would open the door to kids who failed in some way -- flunked a class, failed a test -- to get to go through the graduation ceremony. But those kids did or failed to do something to disqualify them. All this kid is guilty of is needing more time.

His classmates want him there with them.

Surely they could find a way for him to participate. Have him hand the diplomas to whoever hands them out. Let him shake each classmate's hand after they get their diploma. Surely they can come up with some way to include this kid.

If I was one of his classmates, I'd give serious thought to boycotting the commencement, holding a private ceremony elsewhere with friends where they went through all the motions, then got their diplomas in the mail.

This kid did everything that was expected from him to the best of his abilities. I say he belongs on stage with his classmates.

What say you?

1 comment:

WKen said...

You know, this is one of those stories that breaks my heart.

The kid did everything he could. No, he's not graduating. Okay. Let's think outside the box and find a way to include him. You have a great suggestion -- let him hand the diplomas out, or something.

The fear about letting other kids, who fail, in the future is silly. There's a world of difference between a hard-working kid with mental disabilities and a party hog who drops out.

That's why we call it "leadership." The adults are supposed to make judgment calls.