Editorial: Seniors need to focus on academics before fun

Photo Credit: Jordan Sutton
Seniors need to make sure that they are focusing on the academic aspects of their final year before taking in part in senior-specific activities or extracurriculars.<br />Photo Credit: Jordan Sutton
Seniors need to make sure that they are focusing on the academic aspects of their final year before taking in part in senior-specific activities or extracurriculars.
Photo Credit: Jordan Sutton

Throughout the year, many high schools hold activities just for seniors, such as Senior Sunrise, Senior Sunset, and Grad Night. Each one of these events gives seniors the opportunity to enjoy their last year in high school as seniors before they venture off to the next chapter in their lives. So, it’s only right to let all seniors participate in each activity during the school year, correct?

Wrong. During senior year, students should be en route to graduation. To earn a diploma, they must have earned 22.5 credits and can achieve a higher standard with the Advanced Honors diploma which requires 24 credits. If seniors are missing graduation requirements, they may not graduate unless they fulfill the credit qualifications within that year.

Therefore, why should administration let seniors be involved in these events if they are not on the path to graduation? Senior activities are not a right; they are a privilege. Juniors, sophomores, and freshmen are not allowed to participate in these activities because they have not earned it. Administration grants these opportunities after all of the hard work most seniors put into their education. If seniors are not on track to graduate, it shows that they have not tried to take full advantage of their education. Basically, it is not fair to students who have struggled to pass their required coursework.

But, because seniors may retrieve all the credits they need by the end of their senior year, they might lose every chance, since they are not being included, to be a part of these last few events that rewards them for completing 12 years of school.

At SWCTA, probation notices are issued to students if they are failing; so, if they are aware, it should not be difficult for students to catch up with their credits if they try. If possible, students can work with teachers to retrieve their credits by the end of the year through courses like Virtual High School. Also, after-school tutoring may be beneficial for students who do not understand the material and need extra assistance.

Like most controversial topics, there are two sides to this issue, but sooner or later, we must come up with a way to truly praise seniors who have worked hard in high school and exclude “seniors” who may or may not graduate. Otherwise, administration must refrain from letting these “11th graders” from participating in senior activities. It is understandable that students want to spend time with their credit-deficient “technically junior” friends, but it is not fair for them to slide through and have fun when everyone else has worked harder than them.