In an unexpected turn of events, Marlin High School, a small educational institution located in the heart of rural Texas, has been forced to push back its graduation ceremonies. This unusual decision was made as the school lacked enough qualified graduates.
Texas high school postpones graduation after 85% of class fails to earn diploma pic.twitter.com/w6uAcGAPjg
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) May 28, 2023
The Marlin Independent School District made a formal announcement of the postponement via a letter shared on its official Facebook page. According to the district, only five of the 33 seniors slated to graduate managed to meet the state’s graduation standards.
In the school’s announcement, authorities underscored that the delay aimed to give students additional time to satisfy the requirements necessary for graduation. These include the completion of all state-mandated class credits, passing all end-of-course exams, and maintaining a minimum attendance of 90% per class period.
In an explanatory meeting held last Wednesday, the gravity of the situation was laid bare for the students and their parents. While several parents voiced their disappointment over their child’s delayed graduation, District Superintendent Daryl Henson reaffirmed the significance of meeting the state graduation requirements.
“This is not a dance floor. … It’s not a homecoming pep rally. This is graduation,” he insisted.
Henson emphasized that every step taken was and would always be in the best interest of the students, even if it stirred negative emotions in the short term.
“I want to have everyone be upset now. Instead of us calling you back in here in October or November or January of 2024 and telling you that your diploma is not worth the paper that is printed on,” he said.
Henson has reportedly made extensive efforts to help the struggling students, creating ample opportunities for them to catch up on classroom work. According to a report by the Waco Tribune-Herald, this approach saw a notable success as 12 more seniors managed to meet the graduation criteria following the announcement of the rescheduled ceremonies.
Looking back, Henson admitted that this educational crisis should have been identified and addressed before the commencement of the term in August, a lapse that he believes reflects poorly on him.
It’s worth noting that Marlin Schools were placed under state supervision in 2017 following consistent academic failures. Given the current situation, the district’s transition to independence from state control does not seem to be happening anytime soon.