Students participate in community celebration after graduation postponed due to lack of eligible seniors

The community held the last-minute ceremony as families packed church pews, hoping to bring some normalcy to this not-so-normal situation. (Source: KWTX)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 3:03 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARLIN, Texas (KWTX/Gray News) – After a Texas high school rescheduled its graduation ceremony because most of the seniors were found ineligible to graduate, the community took matters into its own hands.

According to an audit from the Marlin Independent School District, 28 of 33 seniors at Marlin High School did not meet the graduation requirements due to their attendance or grades.

A decision was made Wednesday night to push back the official graduation ceremony to June to give many of the students more time to meet graduation requirements.

However, on Thursday – the day the graduation ceremony was originally supposed to be held – the community held an impromptu celebration for the seniors.

Brandolyn Jones, the mother of a Marlin ISD senior, said some family members had traveled far to attend the graduation, and many of them wouldn’t be able to make the trip back again in June.

“A grandmother flew in from Mexico here to see her grandson graduate. And these are moments that you got to cherish,” Jones said.

The community held the last-minute ceremony at Marlin Missionary Baptist Church as families packed the pews, hoping to bring some normalcy to this not-so-normal situation.

“It’s really backed by our community; two people couldn’t have pulled this off. We are a community that when we are faced with adversity, we pull together just like a family,” Jones said.

Church leaders gave speeches, and students walked up to claim their certificates of achievement.

Parents said while this impromptu ceremony is not the same as getting to have an official graduation, it’s moments like these that prove what it means to be Marlin proud.

Superintendent Darryl Henson explained the district’s decision to postpone the official graduation ceremony.

“We hold firm to our belief that every student in Marlin ISD can and will achieve their potential,” Henson said. “Students will be held to the same high standard as any other student in Texas.”

Salvador Guerrero is one of the 28 seniors who was told he was not eligible to graduate. He said he learned last week that he needs to complete the STAAR test for an online U.S. history course, but the test is not available until the summer.

“It’s a bag of emotions, anxiety, and a bit of disappointment,” Guerrero said of the postponed ceremony.

Pushing back the graduation to June would give students like Guerrero a chance to meet the requirements, the district said.