Saturday, May 05, 2007

Should have retired sooner?

Did you know that in Great Falls, MT, high school foreign exchange students participate in the graduation ceremony, but are not allowed to wear cap and gowns. Recently a female exchanged student inquired as to why this rule was in place, and basically was told, 'that's just the way it has always been'. She decided to petition to have the ruling changed, and on her own time, in less than 1 week, secured over 1,000 signatures from students who supported her idea to allow the foreign exchange students to wear a cap and gown when they participated in the ceremony. After securing these signatures, she met with an official at the School District Administration, who is retiring at the end of this school year. His response to her was basically--I'm retiring, so I'm not interested in dealing with this issue, so the answer is no. End of story....

....or is it? I feel if the school district feels that these students should experience the graduation ceremony--these students are enrolled and take the junior curriculum although they are the same age as our seniors--then why can they not wear the caps and gowns? What harm does it do for them to wear a robe and cap? Why not give them a different colored tassel as a keepsake? They don't receive a diploma, but I do believe they receive a certificate.

The idea that our Administrators are just cruising into the last days of their retirement really bothers me. If they aren't willing to continue to do the job they are being paid for, then why don't they go ahead and retire at the calendar end of the year instead of waiting until the end of the school year. Or, just start using up all that vacation I'm sure you have banked, since you aren't willing to continue to do the job the tax payers are paying you to do. Harsh? Maybe, but what kind of a message have you sent to this young person who will return to their country and relay this event to their families, teachers, and others who will want to know about their experiences?