Editorial- Officials Do Not Provide Sufficient Info on Graduation
March 6, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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The class of 2017’s graduation date changed from May 26 to June 7.
DAR took no responsibility. MCPS took no responsibility. And RHS just got one call and an email from Associate Superintendant Darryl Williams and Secondary Director Brain Scriven of the Office of School Support and Improvement.
“To this moment I have no idea why, it didn’t really matter to me- All I knew was we couldn’t have graduation on that date,” principal Billie-Jean Bensen said.
The school only received a notice from the county officials that the date was no longer available and that Bensen had to re-select a date.
Those involved in the graduation process did not get any explanations as to why this change was implemented, who was responsible, when May 26 became unavailable or where the miscommunication occurred. Honestly, to only be able to answer one out of the five W’s shows a serious lack of actual information.
Since Bensen drew the first pick of the lottery out of 25 other principals, RHS should have had their choice of the 14 days. But while Bensen did choose first and selected the earliest option, she did not get the date she chose because MCPS said it was no longer available after the fact.
Then, RHS and Paint Branch HS, the two displaced schools, were left with the remaining three to four slots that MCPS had previously contracted with DAR.
June 7 was the next available date.
This situation is so unfair because it is not every year that RHS has the option of choosing the first graduation date.
The original date was also advertised since before the beginning of the school year, which left enough time for friends and family to make necessary travel arrangements to get to graduation.
Making all of the possible people reschedule their plans (which could be costly) without any explanation whatsoever, so they can attend an event as momentous as a high school graduation, is inconsiderate and just wrong, not to mention the time that seniors have already spent planning beach week or even summer plans. By this point in time, many seniors already put down a deposit on a house, which cannot be refunded.
Ultimately, forcing seniors to either alter their plans or, for some, skip graduation altogether, creates an unnecessary burden. It is understandable that people make mistakes, but it not justifiable to pretend like nothing happened without some substantial explanation or apology.
When we reached out to MCPS, they continuously shut us down and shifted the blame back to the principal and the high schools, and claimed that they had no involvement in the graduation process, and had no other information to give us.
Meanwhile, Paul Guilderson, the Managing Director of DAR Constitution Hall said that May 26 was never a date that RHS could have picked from, even though it was provided in the Principal’s commencement packet from MCPS.
This shows students that it is OK to brush mistakes under the rug and force others to bear the consequences, no matter what they entail. We are asking for the consideration of collectively acknowledging a mistake or miscommunication.
Even though this may not change the circumstances at hand, it shows a level of accountability that one recognizes when at fault, and knows that it would not be acceptable for something like this to happen again.
It is time to step back and remember the lessons learned in kindergarten about what is right and wrong, because emphasizing the importance of the curriculum for children, but then disregarding it as adults just makes society a bunch of high handed hypocrites with our noses too stuck up in the bureaucratic air to realize the affect we have over those back down on earth.
It is time for someone to show our future graduates what it means to be responsible.