Texas school district start canceled after only five of 33 potential students eligible to graduate

A Texas high school commencement ceremony was canceled after the district discovered only five of 33 future graduates were eligible to take the stage, officials said Friday.

Marlin HS, about 120 miles south of downtown Dallas, was scheduled to hand out diplomas on Thursday before the Marlin Independent School District revealed that a number of students ‘did not meet requirements due to poor attendance or their notes”.

Announcing the postponement of the ceremony, Superintendent Darryl Henson said students in his district “will be held to the same high standard as any other student in Texas.”

“We maintain high expectations, not as an imposition, but as evidence of faith in the abilities of our students,” Henson said in a statement to the community.

Superintendent Henson and his staff checked student records last weekend to find only five were eligible to graduate, district spokeswoman Leah Wayne told NBC News on Friday.

The ineligibility stemmed from a myriad of reasons, including failing grades, attendance, verification and documentation issues.

“They found gaps in the data from where they thought it should be,” Wayne said. “That’s why they gave the students a bit more time. They made the decision to postpone graduation so that more students could work through some of these issues.”

Those ineligible students have done makeup and had the proper forms signed — and as of Friday, 27 of 33 students can now turn acorns, Wayne added.

Students in the district’s Alternative Education Program were also impacted by the end-of-term audit, which found only two of those five students were eligible to walk.

That total is now three, so a total of 30 of Marlin ISD’s 38 students are now ready to cross the stage, according to the district.

Despite any inconvenience or embarrassment caused by the postponement, school officials insisted the decision was made in the best interests of students in the state-controlled system.

“That’s been the mainstay of this administration, we’re not going to cut corners. This school district was a failing school district for 10 years before it was taken over by the state,” Wayne said.

“No student should just go through the system and that’s part of the reason this audit was done.”

A rescheduled graduation date had not been set for Friday.


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