No Graduation For Some Seniors in Big Spring

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

A battle is brewing in Big Spring and it all revolves around high school graduation. This year, many students won't be allowed to walk the stage because they didn't pass the TAKS test. It's all part of the district's policy but parents and seniors are speaking out against the rule.

In order to graduate and receive a diploma in Texas, students must pass the TAKS test. Some school district's allow seniors to cross the stage, even if they failed the test but that's not the case anymore in Big Spring.

"I need to participate in walking, that's what I dreamed of my whole life," Big Spring Senior, Lindsey Deel, said.

17-year-old Lindsey Deel is an A and B student. She is in honors band and will even participate in a state competition in a few days. But there's one problem, she can't pass the math portion of the TAKS test, meaning she can't cross the stage during graduation.

"It hurts me, I get sad just thinking about it, it's hard knowing you can't do that because you didn't pass the TAKS test, but you got all your credits and your in good standing with the school," Deel said.

According to Big Spring ISD policy, students who don't pass the test, don't get to walk. It's a frustrating rule for Lindsay and her mother.

"Well I'm upset because it's hurting our kids, the ones that are trying and have a hard time testing anyway," Lindsey's mom, Jolene Bricker, said.

Lindsey has tried both school and private tutoring, but math is still a challenge. At this point, it all comes down to the TAKS.

"Graduation is signified that they have worked hard these 12 years to get all the credits they needed to graduate," Bricker said.

Despite the district's policy, students who didn't pass the TAKS still got to walk the stage last year but under new Superintendent Steven Saldivar, the policy is being implemented this time around. Lindsey's mom tried contacting the school board to see if anything could be done to change the rule, but hasn't received a response.

"You feel helpless, you are going by the rules of someone else you elected to speak for you and they are not speaking for me or anyone else that I have spoken to," Bricker said.

Big Spring Superintendent Steven Saldivar did not want to comment on camera, but said he's following the district's policy.