Seniors that fail GEE not allowed to walk at graduation - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Seniors that fail GEE not allowed to walk at graduation

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BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The cap and gowns are in and the invitations have been sent. It's time for graduation in the ArkLaMiss.

Jeffrey Jackson has been working hard toward his graduation and is on the honor roll at Bastrop High, but when it comes to standardized testing Jackson didn't pass part of the Graduate Exit Exam.

"I asked the Superintendent could he still participate and he said he would check into it and let us know," says Shawanna Jackson, "and come to find out he said no."

Friday, Bastrop High School Seniors will walk across the football field to graduate, but Jackson will be watching from the stands.

"All seniors participating in the graduation exercises will have to have earned to the required number of core units, and pass all of the mandated tests," says George Noflin, Morehouse Parish Superintendent.

"I indicate to the people that the candidates have completed all requirements for the state of Louisiana and Morehouse Parish School Board," says Noflin, "that means that all requirements have been completed, and I don't intend to stand before the people and not tell the truth."

Jackson has had multiple opportunities to retake the test and will have another chance in June. If he passes, his diploma will be mailed to him, but Jackson says graduating with his friends will have already passed him by.

The Morehouse Parish School Board may not allow students that haven't passed the GEE to walk at graduation, but in Ouachita Parish the rules are different. If students have passed their required courses, they're allowed to participate in commencement ceremonies whether they've passed the GEE or not.

"We're not giving them anything, we're really not watering anything down," says OPSB Superintendent Bob Webber, "we're just allowing them to have that time in their life that they can remember, and I don't think the kids walking with the children who have not completed it are upset at all."

Students that haven't passed the test in Ouachita Parish Schools, are handed empty folders at graduation, and get their real diplomas once they re-test and pass in June.

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