Missed deadline to prevent student from walking stage - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Missed deadline to prevent student from walking graduation stage

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The girl's family had planned to celebrate her accomplishments at the Farnsley Middle School 8th grade graduation Friday, but likely won't get that chance after missing a deadline set by the school. The girl's family had planned to celebrate her accomplishments at the Farnsley Middle School 8th grade graduation Friday, but likely won't get that chance after missing a deadline set by the school.
Ebony Barnett Ebony Barnett
Jackie Barnett Jackie Barnett

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – When a group of eighth graders take to the stage during a promotional ceremony, one of their Farnsley Middle School classmates will only be allowed to watch from the stands.

Ebony Barnett said when her daughter's classmates walk the stage at the graduation-like ceremony Friday evening, her 14-year-old will not be allowed to follow in their footsteps after failing to submit a letter of commitment in a timely fashion.

"I'm a mother of five," said Ebony Barnett. "A lot of things get past me."

What's supposed to be an exciting time for Ebony Barnett's eldest child, has instead become a lesson in dealing with disappointment.

"Jayla's 14 at the end of the day," began Barnett, "I'm the mother. If anything, hold that against me. I'll be 100 percent accountable."

"We're just asking for 30 seconds of celebration," said the Farnsley Middle School student's aunt, Jackie Barnett. "She's  the oldest of five. She's got five kids looking up to her and we wanted to celebrate. We wanted that so that those kids are encouraged to keep going."

The girl's family had planned to celebrate her accomplishments at the Farnsley Middle School 8th grade graduation Friday, but likely won't get that chance after missing a deadline set by the school.

"There is a commitment letter," said Farnsley Principal Linda Hudson. "It went out in mid-March. It was due back the Friday before spring break."

"We faxed the permission slip over," said Jackie Barnett. "I wrote her a nice letter pleading, begging ‘please reconsider it and allow Jayla to participate in the promotional ceremony.'"

Hudson, however, refused to budge on her decision. Instead, the principal held firm to guidelines concerning referrals or disciplinary write-ups.

"If you receive a referral," began Hudson, "the first one—if the picnic has not taken place—you would be exempt from attending that."

"She's received one referral since she's been at that school and that was for being in jeans," said Jackie Barnett. "They gave jeans passes and she wore jeans a week early."

The Barnetts said that incident happened on March 17, prior to spring break. The Barnetts believed by standards spelled out in the commitment letter referenced by Hudson, their eighth grader's one and only referral should not keep her from walking the stage.

"This is very important that she enters high school to understand and to celebrate this celebration," said Jackie Barnett.

"Hopefully she'll be able to walk. I mean, that's all we're asking," said Ebony Barnett.

As of Monday, Hudson continued to stand firm on her decision calling it, "just a real life lesson of, there are deadlines and we have to meet those deadlines."

Family members of the Farnsley Middle School student said they are still undecided as to whether they will attend the ceremony if Barnett is not allowed to participate come Friday.

The commitment letter read as follows:

March 14, 2014

Dear Farnsley 8th grade Parents/Guardians,

As you all are aware, the end of the school year is fast approaching. Here at Farnsley Middle School, we look forward to providing your student with a few memorable and meaningful events to end his/her time with us. We will be hosting a PTSA / Student Council sponsored dance in which your student will be permitted to dress in semi-formal wear, take professional pictures, and enjoy refreshments free of charge. On the last school day, we will provide a promotion ceremony to recognize your student in front of his/her peers, staff, and family and to award him/her wit a certificate of completion for his/her success. In order to maintain a safe and productive learning environment for the remained of the year, we have established some criteria for participation in these eight grade events.

 

  • After Spring Break, only students who have no disciplinary referrals will participate in all the 8th grade events. Students who receive one referral will be excluded from 1 event. Students who receive 2 referrals will be excluded from 2 events. Students with 3 referrals will be excluded from 3 events. However if a student receives a referral after an event, the referrals will exclude the student from the next upcoming event.
  • Students may have no outstanding fees. (library, lunchroom, athletics, etc.)
  • Students must have paid for any lost textbooks, lab books, or library books. Failures – Students unable to meet academic expectations will be ineligible to attend 8th grade celebrations.
  • 8th grade detention – "no shows" will count as a referral.
  • ATTENDANCE – Students with excessive absences and or tardies may be excluded from 8th grade events.

Please sign the letter below and have the student return to their team leader by Friday, March 28. Without the returned, signed letter, your student will not be permitted to attend the eight grade events. We thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions concerning the criteria or otherwise, please call.

Regards,
Donald Q. Dillard
Assistant Principal

Student Name: ______________________________________________

Parent Signature: _____________________________________________

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