School reverses decision to not let teen have graduation walk

Sometimes schools need to learn that there’s more to education than rules and regulations.

Austin Fisher is a 17-year-old attending Carrollton High in Ohio. He works hard, and is set to graduate high school soon. He has two jobs to help pay the family bills (it’s only him and his mom in the household). He participates in extra-curricular activities at school. And he has spent the past year caring for his mom as she fights against breast cancer.

Because of all this, he has had to miss some school time. According to this Yahoo article, he “missed school so he could run his mother to cancer treatments and then care for her when she was bedridden after returning home.”

The school didn’t care apparently. Fisher missed 16 days with unexcused absences. If you miss more than 14, you can’t walk down the ramp with your classmates to receive your diploma.

Maybe it’s just me, but he was taking care of his sick mother. I think that should be good enough to have those days missed filed under excused absences.

There was a Facebook group drumming up support to let Fisher walk. An online petition had 107,836 signatures as of 10:30 p.m. last night.

Yesterday, the school board announced that Fisher could walk with the rest of his classmates. But what always makes me laugh is no one ever says “We were wrong.”

The school board says it didn’t know anything until the media started to pick up the story.

This was the statement from the school:

“Representatives from Carrollton Exempted Village had the opportunity to meet with Teresa and Austin Fisher earlier today. At that meeting, Theresa Fisher provided additional information to school administrators concerning Austin’s absences, which had not been previously provided to the district. Based on this new information and after careful consideration by school officials and the Board of Education, it was decided that Austin would be permitted to participate in commencement.

In the interest of all Carrollton’s students, the district and Teresa Fisher ask that the community respect their decision and that everyone move forward. Carrollton Schools is a great place to work and learn and we do not want to be sidetracked from our mission of educating children.”

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a secret that the kid had a mom who was fighting cancer. I believe that someone in the school would have known about it, but still decided to make the original decision to not let Fisher walk.

Just admit you were wrong. It’s not that hard.


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