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In the continuing debate among students, parents and administrators concerning the new graduation seating policy for Shelby County Public Schools, we now have a new and important voice being raised if not necessarily heard.
Members of the senior class at Collins High School have delivered to the administration their considered request to have the seating policy returned to its former structure, which was to seat honor graduates in the order of rank.
Their arguments, based on tradition and their personal years of dedicated effort, are well-conceived, well-stated and well-intended.
We congratulate their initiative, their spirit and their commitment to the values that have defined their academic careers.
And we think it’s too bad that they have yet to receive a response from members of the school board or administrators.
It’s as if their voices don’t matter, that the affected don’t have a proverbial dog in this fight.
Recently, in a letter to the editor, School Board President Sam Hinkle asked the public to contact him with their opinions on this issue, which his board had debated in two policy readings earlier this year.
We believe that in this letter from students Mr. Hinkle has heard from the most important voices – or at least half of them, considering that Shelby County High School’s seniors, who in 2009 overturned a previous attempt to change policy, have not released any opinion.
Therefore, we reiterate to Mr. Hinkle, the board and the administration what we think is a logical solution:
Keep the seating plan as it is for this class and introduce the new policy with the freshman class of 2011-12, so that each student clearly knows the rewards awaiting his or her 4-year commitment.
Based on what we read from the senior class at Collins, we believe the students would find that fair, reasonable and generally acceptable.
In the meantime, we suggest that the school board and administrators at least honor the students with a response.
Otherwise, the word “honor” will be debased even further than any seating plan accomplishes.