Austin Fisher Can Walk in Graduation

Score one more for the power of social media. When classmates and an alum from Ohio’s Carrollton High learned that Austin Fisher was not going to be allowed to join his classmates for graduation, they swung into action.

Fisher had too many unexcused absences in his senior year so received notice he would not be allowed to walk across the stage with his fellow graduates. Apparently no one thought to ask the young man why he missed 16 days, two more than allowed. His school record in academics and baseball should have tipped someone off that there might be extraneous circumstances.

Thousands of people signed petitions in support of Fisher and registered their support on Facebook. Others carried signs or wore t-shirts emblazoned with “Let Fish Walk.” That made school administrators take notice.

Fisher was not staying home because he was lazy or bored with school. He was missing classes to help look after his mother, who has been battling breast cancer for the past seven years. When Fox 8 News interviewed him, the young man said:

I wanted to take a lot of pressure off of her, because that’s the most important thing when you have cancer — a stress-free lifestyle. I mean, that’s how you heal the best, so that’s what I was trying to do.

The school district could not ignore the flood of support. Young Fisher will be allowed to graduate with his classmates. As part of the agreement, neither his family nor the Board of Education is speaking publicly.

Mistakes happen. Carrollton High administrators made a big one.


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Magdalen B.
Magdalen B5 years ago

May be he should have told his form tutor, or what ever the equivalent is.

Rin S.
Rin S5 years ago

That's really beautiful to hear!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

Fisher has shown the compassion that we hope our kids learn as they progress through their years. He did the right thing, and the school should allow the same benefits to him as to the other graduates.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold5 years ago

Thank you for letting him walk with the other students to get his diploma. Shame on them for not asking why the absences. It is now time for them to own up to their errors and let him go to the prom. The prom is a once in a life time occurance as is his graduation and both should be part of the memories of high school.

marc page
Marc P5 years ago

There are certain things that children should simply not be denied as "Punishment" for perceived wrongdoing. And those are Going to the Prom and doing the Graduation walk. One should not deny a child either of these "Once in a lifetime." events solely to make a point or "Teach" a lesson.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

I am beginning to think schools are being run by a bunch idiots. 1. Why didn't they know why he was absent from class, that should have determined if it was excused or unexcused. 2. Since he is receiving his diploma I am assuming he met all the requirements academically, so why not walk or go to the prom? He has earned the right to do both through hard work and dedication. None of this makes sense. Why is the school district subjecting this outstanding young man to punishment? Against some pretty stressful times for himself, his family and indeed his mother he had it within him to do what he needed to do for school and for his family. In my opinion they should have done something special for this special young man.

Debbie Bush
Debbie Bush5 years ago

Funny how so many complaints of younger generations not caring are lodged,but when they do care,they are punished. Sad part is behind this punishment is school district profit. The whole true reason behind punishment behind tardies and absences is merely money the district doesn't receive for the said child that day. If you don't believe me, just work for the district and attend your mandatory meetings. A child's education hinges on the minimum amount of effort for maximum amount of profit.

Dana R.
Dana R5 years ago

It's horrible that a boy can be penalized for caring for his sick mother. Sometimes the bureaucratic bullshit must end; real world problems need to be addressed with human compassion, not by rules in a handbook. Good luck, Austin!

Carolyn C.
Carolyn C5 years ago

Is there no one at his school who is supposed to track truancy and make contact to ask the student why they are missing so much school?

Carolyn C.
Carolyn C5 years ago

Is there nobody in his school who is supposed to keep track of truancy and talk to the student who is missing so many days? Is this not a guidance counselor issue?