Ohio senior Austin Fisher will now get to walk across the stage and receive his diploma after a change of heart on the part of the local school board. Fisher had 16 unexcused absences during his senior year, 2 too many to be allowed to walk across the stage no matter the circumstances. The only issue with that policy comes down to why Fisher was absent. At 17 this child took on the responsibility of a man by taking two jobs to pay the bills his mother was too sick to handle and take her to and from her cancer treatments. He also stayed home to care for her when she came home from cancer treatments when she was unable to even get out of bed. This child proved he was a man and was being denied the one thing he worked so hard to accomplish and the one thing his mother was fighting to see.
Thankfully after the Ohio senior's story reached the masses, a petition with over 70,000 signatures seems to have melted the school board members' hearts. Now this young man who stepped in to be the adult in his home when no one else could will get to receive his high school diploma with his class. He is also being allowed to attend his senior prom, something else that had been stripped from him over the absences necessary to care for his ailing mother.
After six years of battling breast cancer, Fisher's mother will be able to watch her son walk across the stage. While it's fortunate that Fisher's situation was looked into at the request of 70,000+ people, it should never have taken so much for a school board to look at a case such as this one. One day public schools will learn that their students, especially those who have a proven track record of being great students, should have their individual situations looked at when making such huge decisions in regard to their discipline. Instead of punishing Fisher, the school should have offered him a credit for a home health internship instead.