A Date with GRADUATION


My older brother graduated from Lakeside four years ago. I still remember the jealousy and admiration I felt inside as I watched him line up next to his friends in the back of the Fox Theatre and prepare to walk across the stage to freedom. I couldn’t help but wish I was walking with them. This year, it’s my turn to graduate, but my little brother may not be able to see me walk the stage as I saw my brother do four years ago.

Graduation is set to take place at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, May 22, which means my little brother, teachers and faculty, and any other younger siblings or relatives to members of our senior class,will either have to skip school to attend, or miss out on this major milestone. According to counselor, Melissa Perlmutter, Lakeside has no control over this issue because the school district decides the date of graduation, however, the individual school does have some authority over how they choose to structure that day. “At the school I used to work at, graduation always took place on a weekday, but it started later in the day and we had half days, “said Perlmutter. For unemployed parents and family members or family that aren’t currently enrolled in school, this will not be a conflict, but for the majority of people, it will be.

Clearly, holding graduation on a Tuesday won’t be the end of the world, but it might just manage to put an end to productivity in feeder schools and classes due to the substantial amount of absences that are to be expected on the day of graduation. Seniors get released for summer break early, but the younger siblings of graduating seniors left behind will likely to be pulled out of classes or school altogether to support their big brothers and sisters. According to the requirements that have to be met for an absence to be considered “excused”, outlined by Georgia law in the student code of conduct, students will be “unexcused” to attend the graduation of their loved ones.

Not to mention teachers who request the day off to see the students that they’ve devoted themselves to walk the stage and accept their diplomas, and with the recent shortage of substitute teachers we’ve been experiencing, it could turn into an organizational disaster. “I think it’s weird that teachers won’t be able to support students that they’ve worked with for the past four years. Attending graduation has always been a special moment to share with the students that you’ve spent your time teaching and mentoring,” said Language Arts and Drama teacher, Greta Hayes. Regardless of the inconveniences for siblings, parents, and teachers, graduation will take place on Tuesday, May 22, and, hopefully, I’ll see you there.

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