Austin Fisher is a high school senior in Carrollton, Ohio. He should be walking in his graduation in a few weeks--but he won't be. It seems that Austin accumulated sixteen unexcused absences, which is two more than is allowed. So school admininstrators have determined that they have to follow the guidelines, no matter what reason Austin had for missing that much school. He is a varsity baseball player, and he worked two part-time jobs. Oh yeah, Austin also was taking care of his mother Theresa, who has suffered from breast cancer for the past six years. (See a report on the story here.)
Recently I've been reading Dov Seidman's How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything. Last night I studied his section on rules. As most of us know from experience, we often create rules based on past issues. But we can't anticipate everything that could happen, and then the rules can cause more problems than they might have prevented in the first place. I hope the school personnel making this call feel as if they have no choice. I'd love to hear their side, as perhaps there is more to this story than I know after seeing the news report.
Since they're in education, I wonder what they hope to be teaching students at this school. That rules are rules? And that they apply to everyone, no matter what? I'll say this for Austin Fisher. He understands some things that the leaders of that school apparently would be incapable of teaching him. Based on what I've seen, I wouldn't just want Austin walking at graduation. I'd want him giving the commencement address.