There's exceptions for Superintendents, and then there are exceptions for students

As I was nursing the worse sinus attack I've had in recent history, myself and my dad were watching tonight's report on KELO of the Sioux Falls School Board's continuing decision on letting the two high school kids who are slightly short on credits due to illness (one suffered a heart attack while participating in school football) participate in graduation with their classmates at Sioux Falls Lincoln.
The proposed policy would allow seniors who were being recognized as classmates, and not graduates, to sit separately as a group. But Perez says her son has been away from his classmates long enough and that it's time for him to walk with his peers.

She (Wampler's mother) says, "Just to get in line in the W's where he would be walk in sit with the people and when they say his name walk up and for him not to receive a diploma but to just get a handshake and that's it."

Nick Kelly is the other Lincoln Student not allowed to participate in the ceremony. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphacytic Leukemia and missed part of his sophomore and all of his junior year...leaving him 1 and a half credits short.
As Sioux Falls Supt. offered the fairly weak explanation that she did, My dad offered a question (occasionally, dad can be poingnant) in response - "Didn't the school board make an exception for Homan and her horses when they hired her?"

Why, yes. If memory serves me, yes, I think there was a hullabaloo about that whole thing. As the school board tries to fix a weak policy on who can participate in graduation, I seem to recall that the Sioux Falls School Board had a similar situation where they had a weak policy on the residency requirement for Supt. Homan.

They didn't seem to have a problem granting her a dispensation from having a primary residence in the district, because they didn't have a policy (or had a weak one). So, why is it such a big deal when they are being asked to make a policy exception for two kids who want to graduate with their class? Certainly a kid being held back because they are a credit or two shy due to a catastrophic health event is of more importance than the residence of the Superintendent.

Speaking of not meeting all the credit requirements, here's a twist I'm going to throw into the mix: Since Homan is the former Special Ed Director, I have a question - What is the Sioux Falls School District's policy on the graduation of Special Education students?

With varying degrees of physical and mental disability, many of them are going to have attended school for the same number of years as their peers. And for them, the education they're receiving will likely come with a harder effort. And ultimately, many of them aren't going to have recieved the required number of credits.

So what does the Sioux Falls School District do for them in terms of participating in the graduation ceremony? Or when it comes to graduation, do they act as they are trying to do with Wampler and Kelly, and pretend that their achievements fall short?

I guess those two Lincoln High School kids might just get another lesson on Monday. Except this one will be a life's lesson of tolerance or bureaucratic nonsense. But on the other hand, this might not be the end of things at all. Not by a stretch.


Anonymous said…
So, did Dad say "horses" or "houses"?
PP said…
Horses. I believe the story is she lives out of town because she has horses.

Anonymous said…
What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.

Translated: If Homan gets an exception because she owns horses, which is under her control BTW, the two students should get an exception based on circumstances beyond their control.

Good grief, Homan and school board, this isn't the end of the world. It's a simple graduation ceremony in one school in a small state. And as per one caller on the radio this morning, his daughter was allowed to walk across the stage with her class and receive an unsigned diploma when she was a credit or so short a few years ago. This is nothing new.

Have a heart! It would earn you a wealth of good will, or it would have before all this ---- hit the fan.
Anonymous said…
When was Homan special ed director? Karen Roth is retiring this year and has held the job for a long time if memory serves.
Anonymous said…
Let me see if I have this straight...

The Sioux Falls School District has a rule that the Superintendant of Schools has to live within the boundaries of the school district. Pam Homan knew this when she took the job and agreed to move. When she couldn't find a place acceptable to her to raise her horses, however, she went to the School Board and got an exception to the rule.

Two Lincoln High School students don't have enough credits to graduate due to medical reasons, so they asked to be allowed to walk across the stage at graduation and have their names announced. Pam Homan and the School Board said the rules don't permit this, and denied them permission.

Logic says that if A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A must be greater than C. Thus, horses are more important than rules, and rules are more important than kids. We have reached a point with the current school superintendant and School Board where horses are more important than kids. How do these people keep their jobs?

I hope the graduating class finds the moral courage to tell Pam Homan and the School Board that they truly understand that No Child Shall Be Left Behind at their graduation ceremony.

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