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High School Bans Students From Graduation

Updated: Thursday, May 22 2014, 10:56 AM CDT

OAK LAWN -- Wednesday was graduation day for students at Oak Lawn Community High School in Illinois.

However, 48 students were not able to attend the ceremony because the district superintendent says they faked their community service.

One parent, who asked not to be identified, blamed the school, claiming it failed to do a good enough job "mentoring the students.”

District Superintendent Michael Riordan said the students are told starting at freshman orientation that they have to complete 24 hours of community service.

“We have an entire portion of our webpage and a counselor who is dedicated to keeping our students aware of the different resources that are available,” said Riordan, “So, they know where they can go to complete their service work. There's really just very little excuse to not be able to get that work done.”

The scheme surfaced when a number of students turned in paperwork from the Stoney Creek Golf Course that indicated they had done community service work there.

When school officials compared the signatures on those documents to ones submitted last fall by other students they realized that someone had forged the signature of the golf course general manager.

Katie Mancillas, an honors student who completed all her service hours and then 30 additional hours required in her program, had an issue with her classmates in the alleged scandal.

“I feel bad because they kind of did it to themselves and going to mess stuff up for them but it is their own fault,” Macillas said

Her father said parents can't blame the school.

“The parents had for years to get behind their kids to make sure they had this done, my wife and I made sure our daughters did it,” said Paul Mancillas.

He said those parents and their kids have to face the consequences of their actions.

“I understand they are disappointed not seeing their kids walk across the stage, but they should've thought about that over the last four years,”Mancillas said.

“As frustrating as it is for all of us, including the parents, we do feel it's the right thing though to deny them that privilege, graduation certainly is a privilege, it's not a right," Riordan said.

High School Bans Students From Graduation


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