Friday, April 20, 2012

Fish Will Walk!

We as a society should take a second at some point to pat ourselves on the back for all the advances we've made in being sensitive and rational about things. There's still work to do but it does seem like we're chipping away at some of the stupidity that exists for stupidity's sake.
For example, stupid bureaucracy was still alive and well in the Carrollton, Ohio school district until recently. That's where Carrollton High senior Austin Fisher was being denied the privilege of participating in commencement ceremonies with his senior class because he had accrued 16 unexcused absences, two more than is allowed by district guidelines. The reason he missed those 16 days is because he was caring for his mother who is battling breast cancer. As the only other member of their household, Austin had to take his mom to and from appointments and provide other care for her. When she became too sick to work, he took two part-time jobs to help with expenses. The school district initially said that's nice, but, well, sorry kid, rules is rules. But after an online awareness campaign, including the obligatory Facebook group, brought national attention to the matter, somebody decided to take a look at the situation. A meeting was scheduled with Austin and his mom to discuss matters and afterward, the school district issued the following statement:

“Representatives from Carrollton Exempted Village School District had the opportunity to meet with Teresa and Austin Fisher earlier today (April 16). At that meeting, Teresa Fisher provided additional information to school administrators concerning Austin’s absences, which had not been previously provided to the district. Based on this new information and after careful consideration by school officials and the Board of Education, it was decided that Austin would be permitted to participate in commencement.

In the interest of all of Carrollton’s students, the District and Teresa Fisher ask that the community respect their decision and that everyone move forward. Carrollton Schools is a great place to work and learn and we do not want to be sidetracked from our mission of educating children.”

So, good job everybody! We're getting a little smarter every day!

(If this situation hadn't been resolved favorably, I would have posted all kinds of links to petitions and Facebook and whatnot. But since we don't have to worry about that now, I'll only post one, where you can make a donation to the American Cancer Society via Relay For Life. Thanks in advance!)

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