Early grads in Dillon barred from school activities

Early grads in Dillon barred from school activities

DILLON, SC (WMBF) - For Keisha Hayes' daughter Jakeria, her senior year is ending a little different than she predicted. She graduated early from Dillon High school this month and was looking forward to getting ready for the next step.

In the meantime she wanted to do what all other graduating seniors do, go to prom and go to graduation.

"She's earned it, she went to school for 12 years," said Hayes.

Hayes quickly found those activities are not an option. In Dillon County School District 4, students who graduate early can't participate in those spring school activities.

Hayes' mom talked to the school, the superintendent, and school board. Eventually, she got an explanation.

"For obvious reasons the school district wishes to discourage students from stopping school attendance before they are required to do so," Hayes read from a letter she received from the district.

Hayes now understands the policy better, but definitely doesn't agree with it.

"We hire teachers on the number of students we're going to have. And we get paid by the number of students," said Ray Rogers, county superintendent. "When they leave in December then we don't get paid for the rest of the year for them, you know not attending."

Rogers says the policy has been in place for years and money isn't the only reason for it.

He says school safety is a big part of it, but also, the extra semester at school can go a long way for some seniors.

"We feel like they need the high school opportunity because once you get out of high school, then the whole world changes," He said.

WMBF News asked numerous surrounding school districts and didn't find any outside Dillon County with similar policies. ?

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