District halts early graduation policy after parents express disapproval

District halts early graduation policy after parents express disapproval

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A policy disallowing students who graduate early from participating in school events and activities is on hold until further notice, Horry County School Board Chairman Joe Defeo.

This change comes after some parents expressed their disapproval of the policy, saying it punishes students who work hard to earn enough credit to graduate early.

A parent told WMBF News that because his daughter will be graduating early in January, she would not be allowed to go to prom, to go on the senior trip, or play senior sports.

"They're basically taking all the fun parts of being a senior out of the question," parent James Styron said.

Students who graduated early would also not receive a class ranking, one of three main criteria colleges look for when accepting new students. These students would have had to rely only on their GPA and test scores.

School officials sent out a newsletter the day before classes resumed to make parents aware of the change. They were encouraged to attend a meeting Thursday at Socastee High to ask any questions they had.

Horry County Schools officials said one of the reasons for the changes is that students can no longer be disciplined by the school after they officially finish classes, which is why prom and senior trips are out of the question.

Still, that did not stop some from saying this new policy could handicap their children's future.

"I mean, what's the reasoning? What has changed from years past to this year? And why all of a sudden? Why not some notice? That way we weren't just shocked like, oh no. I mean, no prom for my daughter? It was a privilege, and now it's more of a punishment." Styron said.

On Friday, Chairman Defeo confirmed to WMBF News that the new policy will be put on hold until further notice. He says the board did not approve the policy, and therefore will not be implemented at any district schools for the time being. The policy will be brought up again when school board members go on a retreat in September.

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