Letter to the Editor

Your view: Stay in school

Friday, January 21, 2005

High school students wishing to graduate early seems to be a recent problem between Kelly High School administration and a select few Kelly High School students.

Do these students have the right to walk with the rest of their classmates? Should these students even be given the choice of early graduation and, more importantly, are these students, at age 17, ready for the rigors of college life if they choose to begin a post-high school education? No, no, and no. High school faculty and staff, parents, and classmates should not allow or encourage early graduation from high school because these students miss an opportunity to learn, prepare themselves for the future, and spend that one last semester with those classmates and inspirational teachers who have already taught them so much.

Many of these students feel they would not receive the classes needed to further their education and succeed in the years after high school. That may well be true if they choose to take classes that do not help prepare them for their future. "The classes I was taking weren't helping me," said Desert Wells, 18. Maybe this young woman should change her classes to coincide with what she feels will help her. Seventeen-year-old Jayne Ruff added that the classes she was enrolled in were more or less pointless. Some of the classes offered in the Kelly curriculum are trigonometry, precalculus, geometry, Biology I and II, EN100, Spanish, speech, physics, many computer technology and fine arts classes, business management and up to three annual dual-credit on-line courses. There are opportunities to exceed at Kelly High School. All the classes listed above, and many more, are highly applicable to college life and are not pointless to have on one's high school schedule.

Why, then, should these early graduates be prevented from walking at graduation, besides the fact that Kelly administration stands firm upon the policy and has already declined a petition by these "students?" These young people are setting a bad example for future students. It will start a slippery slope and each year more students will be seeking an early exit from high school. For example, in the Jan. 18 Standard-Democrat, Tara Wimberley, who is only a junior, says she is also interested in changing policy and plans to graduate next December after only seven semesters of high school. Students will start taking the easy, early exit more frequently, especially at Kelly if the early graduation policy changes.

There is no good that can come out of early graduation. Students lose an opportunity to learn and grow as scholars. I suggest that the Kelly administration never falter from its position on the early graduation policy, that students encourage other students to remain with them for one last hurrah, and, finally, that parents love their children enough to make them finish high school the correct way: in eight semesters.

Ash Hahn

West Point Class of '06

Kelly High School Class of '02