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Man Files Civil Rights Complaint After Daughter Not Named Valedictorian

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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 11:24 AM
Original message
Man Files Civil Rights Complaint After Daughter Not Named Valedictorian
Edited on Thu May-18-06 11:25 AM by matcom
<snip>

MASCOUTAH Theresa Schmidt has the grades - four years of straight
A's in rigorous, college-preparatory classes at Mascoutah High School.

But for want of a chemistry class, the senior won't walk across the stage
Friday as one of her class valedictorians.

Her father, Brad Schmidt, said the situation can be traced to his daughter's
narcolepsy, and he has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of
Education's Office of Civil Rights. He's pleaded with Mascoutah administrators
to make an exception for his daughter.

"She's devastated by this," he said.

<snip>

The school's handbook specifies that valedictorians must take chemistry, along
with three other upper-level courses.

Theresa was diagnosed during her sophomore year with narcolepsy, a neurological
disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles
normally. To deal with it, the doctor ordered that she take two half-hour naps
daily.

A homeroom in the morning provided one nap time, but she needed to drop a class
to accommodate the afternoon nap. She decided to drop a science class and take
science her senior year, instead. That would still allow her to earn the three
science credits she needed to graduate.


http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/emaf.nsf/Popup?ReadFor...
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ah yes, the old American standard
If something bothers you, or YOU think it's unfair...sue somebody. Anybody. Twice if need be.

I sweartogod we are the most litigious society on the planet.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. In this case, I think the school should have made an exception.
Rigid arbitrary rules in this case prevented a very deserving student from getting an earned honor.

I don't think suing is the answer, but I do think the school was wrong.
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm glad we agree that suing is not the answer
The gist of my post.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. But what is your opinion on what happened to this student?
It's all well and good to be against law-suits (perhaps) but there is a real people invovled in this situation. I'm more concerned about what's actually happening to people.
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. My opinon?
You have to graduate under existing handbooks. Same for colleges and high schools. She didn't get around to reading her handbook until her senior year--two weeks after the semester started. She should have read it when she was registering for her fall courses.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Did you read the article?
She had to change her schedule because of a medical condition. She changed it in a way that did the least harm to her academically. She was able to get all the credits needed to graduate, and got straight As.

One class that she was forced to drop for medical reasons screwed her out of this honor, and it was a class that was required for purely bureaucratic reasons.
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Yes of course I did
That's how I learned she didn't read the handbook. And only after she did read the handbook (14 days after the semester began), she and her dad then wanted the school to change the handbook for her.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Not change the handbook, make an exception
based on an exceptional situation.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. Our valedictorian didn't even attend our school for three years.
:grr: She transferred from her private school to our public one her senior year, which placed her in front of everyone!

In response to accusations that she did it so she could be valedictorian, she said that the reason she transferred was to get a better education which she honestly thought could better be done at our public school. WELL OF COURSE, THAT'S WHY THE REST OF US COULDN'T GET 4.0's THERE BUT YOU GET CREDIT FOR GETTING YOUR GRADES FROM SOMEWHERE EASIER! :grr: THIS JUST PLAYS INTO THE NOTION THAT YOU DON'T DESERVE IT!

LoZoccolo placed 12th in his class.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. Tough Schmidt
Actually that is all I have I feel asleep half way through reading that.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Sue! Sue! Sue! I'm a witness!
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Momgonepostal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. OK, I guess I'm a dummy, but how does this negatively...
affect her?

I presume that a graduating senior with a 4.0 GPA already has been accepted to whatever university she's planning on attending. Surely her first choice isn't waiting to hear whether she made valedictorian or not, to decide whether to accept her. So what's the big whoop? She just wants the warm, fuzzy feelings that go along with the valedictorian label?
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Yeha that is probably it
I wouldn't be surprised if the father is much more concerned about this than the daughter.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. What the hell are they doing with multiple valedictorians, anyway?
There should only be one.

What a weird school.

And speaking personally, I think the school is unfairly screwing her on this one.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I'm very glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. They tried to pull this the year my brother graduated
The way it worked was that grades for 7 consecutive semesters determined valedictorian, which meant that the last two quarters of senior year didn't count.

He got challenged from a teacher during his Junior year. " will never get an A in my class." Well, in quarters 1 and 2, he got As. The 3rd quarter was the time for the school musical, and my brother always got the lead. He did again. The teacher scheduled 3 of 5 labs for the term the week of the performances. My brother, already the sole valedictorian of his class, got an E that term.

The mother of student #2 pitched a fit. The administration caved and was prepared to have 2 valedictorians. Apparently, even the student body was going to "walk out" of graduation if my brother was going to continue to be the sole valedictorian.

The woman in charge of the scholarship checks was a friend of our family. She said she would sign no checks unless the rules for determining valedictorian were upheld. Not only did the original rules stand, but the administration threatened to withhold diplomas to anyone who "walked out" during the ceremony. (They could opt not to attend, but they were not allowed to make a mockery of the ceremony by walking out.)

I guess the mother of student #2 called my mother for several years later, bragging about how successful her child had become.

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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. As a retired high school chemistry teacher, let me say....
:spray:
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slide to the left Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. I didn't graduate from college on time
because of my Asthma, can I sue?
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Nonsequiter.
If you were denied a minor that you had otherwise earned solely because of your asthma then maybe you would have a point.
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Let's say my child or parent has a medical condition
And I'm the only one that can take care of them, so I have to be home at night. But a class needed for my major is only offered at night. Do I get an exception? Do I still get this exception if I wait until two weeks after the class starts? And if I didn't look up the schedule of the required class until then?

It still remains that she did not read the rules beforehand. She should have made her case at the time of her schedule selection (which was probably the previous spring). Then I might be more inclined to take her side.

She chose to remain uninformed. Moreover, she remained uninformed until AFTER the change date for classes.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. You are very harsh.
I imagine, like everyone else, she didn't read the requirements for Valedictorian until she was informed she was in the running for it.

I'm sure she also had a guidance councelor she spoke with regularly who assured her that she was on track for all requirements. From the article is sounds like she made a specific effort to keep up on requirements from the moment she was diagnosed.

I think you're being overly judgemental and harsh. I don't know why you feel the need to be so mean about this, but that's what I see.
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kay1864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Well in that case
Everyone else on this thread who agrees with me must be "very harsh" and "mean" too, for expecting her to be familiar with the rules of registering for classes. And to not blame her guidance counselor.

I don't keep up conversations with people who specifically ask for my opinion, then respond by calling me harsh and mean. You're on Ignore.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I'm devastated!
I've never been on anyone's ignore list before. I don't know if I can handle it.
:eyes:

Good bye. :)
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. someone put you on ignore....god thats funny!
and you are right...there is no need to be so judgemental especially about a high schooler...
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Hi Priyanka!
:hug:

It is funny. I started a thread to celebrate. :)
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. She's "devastated" by this?
I love it when people use the word "devastated" to describe a disappointment. Big deal - she's not the valedictorian (or one of many). If that qualifies as "devastated", what adjective would describe losing her entire family to ebola or getting her leg chewed off by a tiger? Christ, talk about hyperbole!
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. *sigh* Stuff like this really makes me feel for the kids.
I wish we didn't even have valedictory traditions. And selfish parents who put too much pressure on their kids and file frivolous lawsuits that teach them all about self-entitlement rather than grace. Sorry, rules don't apply to me. AAGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
19. Makes ya wonder what'll happen
the first time she applies for a job and doesn't get it.

:eyes:

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Momgonepostal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Or the first time she gets a "B" at university...
It's bound to happen sometime.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
28. well she does have a disability
so i dont see why the school didnt make an exception for her disability....

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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. It's easier to stick with rules, no matter what the situation
than to stop and think a bit. It's easier to judge than to understand.
:(

And so it has always been...
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-18-06 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
32. Some woman at my college threatened to sue if she wasn't nominated for...
a scholarship.

She didn't deserve it and became a laughing stock as a result. What an idiot!
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