Graduation Waivers: A Good Idea?


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Students at MIT Academy are concerned about graduation requirement waivers issued by the school board.

As a high school student in MIT Academy, you are required to obtain nine college credits, do a total of 140 hours of community service within your four years, and 35 internship hours. These requirements are part of what you are required to obtain for graduation. Yet recently, Griffin Technology Academies held their monthly board meeting, in which a graduation waiver for the graduating class of 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026 was approved. Although the graduating class of 2026 did not receive any changes to their requirements, the class of 2025 and 2024 had theirs lightened. Out of the other graduating classes, the class of 2023 gets a catwalk, or in other words, some students get to graduate with less effort.

Unlike the other graduation classes, the class of 2023 got to slack off, as their community service hours, internship hours, and college credits were waived. In other words, these things are no longer necessary for graduation. Some may say that this was done for the sake of the school’s image. What school would want to have on their record, only a few out of hundreds of high school students to graduate? Some may be angry or frustrated at the work they have done only for it to be wasted. Still, others could care less and simply be relieved that they get to graduate despite lacking in some areas of the graduation requirements. 

Below are some questions concerning the waiver we asked some seniors and the answers we received from them (please note that they will be unnamed): 

Student 1:
Q: What was your initial reaction? 

A:  I felt it wasn’t entirely fair, they should’ve just reduced the amount of hours/credits needed to graduate, or make them do summer school.

Q: Do you think it was necessary? 

A: It would be necessary for MITA’s rep., ’cause it’ll look bad if a bunch of people don’t graduate.

Q: Do you think it helps the school?

A: I feel it doesn’t help the school ’cause all these students who dodged the requirements will lack the ability to manage their time (think about internships and finding time to perform community service), I also feel it makes the less disciplined.

Student 2:

Q: What was your initial reaction? Do you think it was necessary? Do you think it helps the school?

A: My initial reaction was relief because I thought I wasn’t going to graduate. It was definitely necessary because most of our grade wouldn’t graduate otherwise. It definitely helps the school keep its image up, not sure how it would help otherwise.

Q: Can you talk about it a bit more? Like why did you feel relief about being able to graduate?

A: During quarantine the school kept me going through Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 even though I failed Algebra 1 and Geometry. I tried speaking up about it and they never corrected it and I had to do all of those math classes. Then the waiver got rid of most of my classes, and now all I need to do are Physics and Algebra 1.

Q: How do you feel about people opposing the waiver?

A: I respect their opinion, but if it wasn’t for the waiver, 2/3 of our grade would not graduate. The school should do something special to respect them persevering over everything though. (Note: the second sentence is about those who did pursue the graduation requirements.)

Q: Why do you say that?

A: Them finishing their hours and going through all that work just for it to be waived? I would be mad too. 

Student 3:

Q: What was your initial reaction? Do you think it was necessary? Do you think it helps the school?

A: My initial reaction was that I was relieved. I definitely think it was necessary for our grade. And it helps the school because at least more than 2 people can [       ] graduate now.

Q: Like why were you relieved? Or why do you think it was necessary?

A: I was relieved because that means I can actually [       ] graduate. And life is better. It was necessary but only 16 people would graduate before. 

Q: Okay, so how do you feel about people opposing the waiver?

A: They can  [       ]. 

This waiver removed major graduation requirements for the class of 2023. Some were relieved, some were frustrated. But what do you think? Does everyone in the class of 2023 deserve to graduate? If this was the cause, was the waiver worth the image of MIT Academy? Would there have been a better alternative?