June 04, 2008

It's bitchslap some pencil pushers day!

Leanna Elizalde has had two surgeries for cancer. Also, she's undergone weeks of radiation treatment to help her, you know, live. Consequently, and understandably, she's fallen a bit behind in her studies and needs to take one more English class during summer school to earn her high school diploma. However, she'd like to walk with her classmates/friends during graduation ceremonies. No big deal, right? After all, a lot of colleges do that. My alma mater, VCU, would allow students within a certain- small- number of credits to participate in graduation ceremonies. Although no degree or diploma is awarded until completion of the remaining coursework, students got to enjoy wearing the cap and gown and just generally having a good time. Apparently, the dickheads at Leanna's high school just can't bring themselves to allow such a thing. I'd certainly understand the school's position if Leanna was simply a lazy student who had fallen behind due to lack of effort. But right now it looks like the school is punishing her for the inconvenience of not dying.

Elizalde's doctor, UC Davis Professor of Clinical Surgery, Robert Canter has written to the school to ask them to reconsider their decision, saying, "I strongly believe that (Leanna) should be allowed to participate in her graduation ceremony, and I think that refusal to do so would be construed as a punitive action unbefitting a pediatric cancer patient."

I guess that it's a good thing Leanna's doctor isn't an officious prick like the school principal or she might not even be in the news right now.

Posted by Physics Geek at June 4, 2008 12:46 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Schools used to do this; the trouble is, legally, once you've undergone the ceremony, you're technically a graduate, as I understand it.

Yeah, it sucks.

Posted by: Linda F at June 8, 2008 09:05 PM

the trouble is, legally, once you've undergone the ceremony

Actually, I don't believe that that is the case at all. At VCU, some one or two people tried that gambit to avoid having to take the last 2-3 classes they needed. It failed, of course, because allowing someone to walk down the aisle in no way confers an actual diploma on them. In fact, schools that allow this walking in advance ceremony typically use empty diploma cases or blank sheets of paper sealed with a ribbon tie to help with the illusion. Now it's entirely possible that some states or locales have different laws in place which would make walking=diploma conferred, but that certainly isn't the case here in Virginia.

Posted by: physics geek at June 9, 2008 06:52 AM