Friday, August 01, 2014 - 10:29:46 PM

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Senior Skip Day Turns Sour

Dozens of students in Oxford who thought they were taking part in a harmless tradition soon found themselves in a heap of trouble...

About four dozen of the 54-member senior class at Oxford Academy took part in senior skip day Monday. But some parents say the high school principal caught wind of their plans and instructed teachers to schedule work on that day that would be weighed heavily enough that it would "wound" those students' grades. Parents say students received zeroes on the missed assignments Monday, dropping grade point averages.

Parents claim principal Janet Laytham wanted to schedule a 7:30 am Sunday session for the kids to make up the work. Parent Cheryl Webb says she contacted the State Department of Education to discover that plan to call students in on Sunday was not allowed.

Parents say students now have the chance to make up the work they missed Monday, Thursday and Friday after school so that their grades won't be affected. However, one parent says she's advising her son to not make up the work out of principle because the work wasn't part of the original curriculum.

"I don't know what the reasoning is to hurt a bunch of kids. Most of these kids are honor or high honor students. So it really hurt a bunch of them in terms of their grades and their averages and colleges are looking at that," said Oxford parent Donna Hansen.

"I have no issue with my child having a consequence for not following school rules. But I think the consequence should be commensurate with the infraction. They act like they want to put these kids in front of a firing squad for having a Senior Skip Day which has been going on for 30 years," said Oxford Parent Donna Hansen.

We spoke to Oxford superintendent Dr. David Richards who said he couldn't comment on student disciplinary issues due to federal law. He also felt he couldn't comment on the accusation that the work added Monday was not part of the regular curriculum. He did say the district's code of conduct calls for students to be at school unless excused by a parent or guardian.

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