MISD Trustees Vote 4 to 3 to Uphold District's Commencement Policy

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Students and parents lined up inside the Midland ISD Administration Building and pleaded with the Midland ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday. The crowd spilled out of the board room and into the hallway to see if the board would reverse it's policy and allow the teens who fell short on their TAKS exams to walk the stage at graduation this weekend.

"I want to walk the stage with my class and not with anyone else's class. I want to walk the stage with my friends the closest people I have to me,"  one speaker said.

A neon sign summed up the sentiment. It read: Let them walk, they deserve it.

"It's sad because a lot of students passed their exams," High School Senior, Kenneth Wilcot said.

Superintendent Sylvester Perez went to bat for the students. Dr. Perez recommended the board address the policy by allowing the students to participate in commencement and receive a certificate of completion during the ceremony.

"I think these students should be recognized for what they've done. They've completed 12 years of course work. It's a certificate of completion. These kids want a diploma, who's to say they won't go back,"  Martha Jackson, the aunt of a Midland senior who will not be allowed to participate in graduation, said.

Board members hashed it out, but ultimately in a split decision sided against making any changes.

"It's not all about what information they've learned. It's the testing process itself," one mother said.

The board voted 4 to 3 to keep the policy the same. Those board who voted against the changes said it's important to uphold the law and academic standards.

The high school graduation ceremonies will go on, but 50-75 students will not take part.

"She's an A and B student. She's working. She's responsible but this TAKS test is the only thing standing in the way of her walking on stage," another mother said.