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Texas high school delays graduation because just 5 seniors currently qualify for it
Screenshot of KWTX video

Texas high school delays graduation because just 5 seniors currently qualify for it

A small Texas high school has decided to delay its graduation ceremony after just five seniors qualified to graduate, and an epidemic of severe senioritis may be to blame.

At a mandatory meeting on Wednesday night, parents of seniors attending Marlin High School in Marlin, Texas, about a half-hour south of Waco, voted to delay the school's graduation ceremony until June to give more students a chance to qualify. At the time of the meeting, 28 of 33 seniors did not meet graduation requirements, mostly because of poor attendance, missing credits, and low grades.

Delaying graduation "is part of a broader effort by Marlin ISD to maintain high academic expectations and ensure student success," a statement from the district read in part. "The district has affirmed its commitment to providing necessary resources and support for students, and the new graduation date is seen as a testament to this commitment."

Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson reiterated that "students in Marlin ISD will be held to the same high standards as any other student in Texas."

To receive a high school diploma, Texas students must earn 22 to 26 course credits, and to earn credit for a class, they must attend class at least 90% of the time. In addition to earning credits, they must demonstrate that they have retained the course material by passing proficiency tests covering algebra I, English I, English II, biology, and U.S. history.

One student, Salvador Guerrero, claimed that he needs to pass just the state test for U.S. history in order to satisfy the graduation requirements. The trouble is that the test will not be offered again until the summer. It is unclear whether he will be able to take the test before the new graduation date.

Another student, C'ijah Williams, said she is missing an elective credit, though it is believed that Williams and others like her now have the opportunity to make up the missing credits by taking crash courses before the new graduation deadline. "It's gonna be really tough," Williams said. "And it's time-consuming."

Alondra Alvarado, one of the five who has already qualified for graduation, seemed frustrated by the situation. "They told us that because of the students that didn’t meet the requirements it wouldn’t be fair for only five students to walk the stage," she said.

Though the graduation prospects of most of Marlin High School's class of 2023 remain in limbo, the Marlin community wanted to honor all students, regardless of graduation status, so they quickly organized a graduation-like ceremony at a local Baptist church. All seniors and their families were invited to attend. "A grandmother flew in from Mexico here to see her grandson graduate, and, you know, these are moments that you gotta cherish," said Brandolyn Jones, one of the event organizers.

Marlin community holds ceremony for seniors after high school graduation was pushed backyoutu.be

It is unclear when the 28 students had been apprised that they were in danger of not graduating. Some parents claimed that they received reports as recently as April 17 stating that their children were "on track." "This is a catastrophic failure of leadership and accountability," one mother said at the parent meeting on Wednesday.

Marlin ISD voted last month to move to a four-day school week, beginning this fall. District officials hope that the shorter week will improve student engagement and reduce the number of absences.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →