Changes Could Come in Midland's Graduation Policy

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - For some Midland students, walking across the stage on graduation day, now hinges on a single school board decision. It's a push from some parents to let students who didn't pass the TAKS test be in the ceremony.                    

During a special meeting on Tuesday at 4 pm, the district will consider changing its policy. Some say it would be a change in the right direction.

"I don't think it's fair, that they don't get recognized for something, for something they did for twelve years, I mean, they didn't drop out," Midland Lee High School Senior, Kristen Bullock, said.

Bullock told NewsWest 9 she has nearly everything she needs for her diploma. She's passed all her classes and has all the credits, but according to district policy, falling short on one portion of the TAKS test means she won't be able to walk the stage.

"We didn't just go to school for twelve years for no reason," Bullock explained. "We woke up, went to school, did our homework. Some of us aren't good test takers."

Bullock said she's not making excuses, and not expecting a diploma on May 30th. However, she, other students, and parents are hoping a special meeting called by the district on Tuesday will let her participate in Commencement.

"All of us have had a vision to walk across the stage," Bullock added. "To at least be recognized in front of everybody, in front of our family and friends, that we did go to school for 12 years. We didn't just drop out."

Parents tell NewsWest 9 letting their children simply walk the stage could also mean positive reinforcement.

"You're not recognizing they didn't pass the test by giving them a diploma, but you are allowing them to finish something, and I think that's the goal here," Bob Bullock, Kristen's father, told NewsWest 9. "You want them to understand that even though they may have fell short on their goal, that they can finish something."

The special meeting and workshop are scheduled for this Tuesday at 4pm at the Board room on West Missouri Ave. District officials so far have not told NewsWest 9 specifically why they chose to call the meeting. However, district officials may or may not change their policy.