HCS to move forward with new policy on mid-year graduates

HCS to move forward with new policy on mid-year graduates

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A story we first told you about last month has parents frustrated once again. The Horry County School Board has decided to move forward with a new policy that will strip mid-year graduates of several things, including the right to attend prom.

The policy was put on hold back in August after parents voiced concerns and officials said they hadn't been properly informed on what the policy entailed. However, now the board has decided to go ahead with it, leaving some parents scratching their heads.

"They repealed it. They said it wasn't going to happen, that they didn't know anything about it. And now I just found out yesterday through a text to the students that, yeah, they're going ahead with it," said parent James Styron.

Styron says his daughter has been taking high school classes since the eighth grade with the intent of graduating early. However, now that hard work does not seem to be paying off.

"I felt like I got a little bit of a runaround," Styron said.

The policy will keep January graduates from attending prom, going on senior trip, and, most importantly, it will take away their class ranking.

"The class ranking is huge because it's used as part of the criteria to get your scholarship. So if you don't get a class ranking, that's one less criteria that they go to judge you on to get a scholarship," he said.

Horry County School Board Chairman Joe Defeo says while he doesn't necessarily agree with the new policy, unfortunately the board's hands are tied.

"They're technically no longer in school. And this is what the state has said. They're no longer in school," said Joe Defeo.

"They're not allowed to have a class ranking as I understand it from the state. And I think there are a lot of situations where people at the state level and other people at different levels and not at the local school board level make decisions that affect everybody, and they're too far away. They shouldn't be making these decisions," Defeo said.

"I honestly don't know what to do. It's like fighting an uphill battle. They tried to slide it in on us twice, and now you just throw your hands up," Styron said.

Students who graduate in January will still be allowed to take part in graduation, however they can only attend prom if they are invited by another student.

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