Submitted by Howard Lee
Last Friday (June 15th) was a joyous day at University Place Curtis High School because it was Graduation Day. Well, joyous for everyone except students who either didn’t meet the required classroom credits to graduate or were foreign exchange students. These students were not allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies.
While it is certainly understandable why those who failed to meet the required classroom credits to graduate should be penalized by restricting their participation in graduation ceremonies, foreign exchange students, who were in good standing, have for nearly two decades, been allowed to march with their American classmates at graduation, recognized as exchange students as they cross the stage, and receive a Certificate of Attendance.
This year the foreign exchange students were penalized for being exchange students by being restricted from participating in the graduation ceremonies. If that weren’t enough, they weren’t told of their restriction until the day before graduation (Thursday), even though they were given their cap and gown at the school on the previous Tuesday.
School officials met with the house parents of the exchange students on graduation day and explained it was district policy and offered no explanation.
Sometimes common sense has to prevail, but in this case it didn’t. This is one more instance where the school board/superintendent does not, as required by Washington law, engage with and represent the community. The community should be a partner in the education of our students, not just a revenue source.