FPS staff report
April 17, 2012
|School Board President Rose Seck reads a press release issued Monday during Tuesday's board meeting.
School administrators were upholding board policies when they made decisions concerning senior students with unexcused absences.
That is what School Board President Rose Seck told about 75 people who attended Tuesday’s board meeting.
“We voted on those policies as a board and the administration was upholding them,” Seck said during a discussion with several interested parents just prior to adjourning the meeting. “We have to be careful and follow procedures,” she continued. “Until people come forward, we don’t know about the extenuating circumstances of some of these students.”
When a parent, who did not identify herself, asked if the rules could be changed, Seck responded, “We will look at them.”
She pointed out the need to educate parents about the importance of getting excuses and doctor slips for absences to school administrators so they are aware of what is going on. “That way, decisions can be made earlier and it wouldn’t come to this,” she noted.
Another unidentified parent asked why the board didn’t ask questions of Brittany Hardesty, another senior who is not being permitted to walk across the stage because of unexcused absences, when the board responded to others who stood at the podium and spoke.
“I can’t believe she (Brittany) stood up and spoke and you didn’t respond,”the woman told the board.
Seck responded that the board would “take a look at things,” noting Brittany’s mother spoke at the last school board meeting about the issue. “She presented a lot of information at that time,” Seck stated.
“I don’t have the ability to get a national campaign going like Austin,” Brittany said standing up from her seat beside her mother. “Most of this school thinks I dropped out, because that is what they were told.”
Brittany said she is taking classes on-line because of a medical condition that kept from attending classes.
Another woman asked the board to consider reinstating senior privileges for the students affected by the policy.
“These kids have extreme circumstances,” an unidentified woman said. “Why, as a community and school, are we not taking care of these kids? They only have one senior year. Why should they be made to look back at that year with hatred?”
Another woman noted the agreement with the Fisher family only pertained to graduation and not other senior privileges. “What about the other privileges?” she asked.
When Seck noted the board would “take a look at the policy” several people in the audience noted the prom is scheduled April 28 and graduation is May 25 so the board does not have a lot of time to act.
Seck said she doesn’t believe the board will have to conduct a special meeting to consider the policy.