School system did little to avert disaster

Published 9:54 pm Monday, May 1, 2017

To the editor:

The article “Graduation in Jeopardy” by Tracy Agnew, published April 21, 2017, is extremely disheartening, to say the least. It is astounding that less than 50 percent of the class of 2017 has completed the required community service.

As a senior at Lakeland High School, I realize the importance of the new graduation requirements, and I have personally met all the new prerequisites. However, many of my classmates either did not take the implementation seriously or had real jobs that paid them for their time. Even people who should be graduating with honors may not graduate due to the community service requirement.

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Students have known about the requirements since the end of eighth grade year, but many of us had no idea how to go about earning them. I believe the school system could have been more proactive in making sure the students had many opportunities within the school to earn all the hours.

Now, with merely a month left in the school year, the School Board must scramble to figure out a way to boost the projected graduation rate. Not only do the students have to stress about grades and standardized test in order to pass, we have to worry about completing these service hours.

The potential detrimental effect of the community service requirement on the school system’s graduation rate is far worse than it should have been.

Unfortunately, the school system did little to prevent this from happening. They knew the community service requirement could devastate the graduation rate when it was approved, yet in the last four years, the people in charge have done little or nothing to help children get the service hours.

Now, in the 11th hour, the School Board, the principals, the counselors and the students must all face the arduous task of figuring out how to get the required community service hours in order to graduate.

Tenisha Alston