The School Newspaper of West Brook High School

Exemptions: A Lost Hope

December 14, 2017

Hard At Work: Students study for their upcoming mid-terms. Photo by David Williams.

Hard At Work: Students study for their upcoming mid-terms. Photo by David Williams.

Hard At Work: Students study for their upcoming mid-terms. Photo by David Williams.

Contrary to what the staff and student body previously assumed, the district has decided that students will not be receiving exemptions this semester. The district feels that it must monitor the students and close some of the gaps that might have been caused by Harvey.

“We were notified around the middle of the second grading period,” 12th grade assistant principal Shyulanda Randle-Filer said. “[The district] made the decision due to the hurricane and instruction being shortened. We need all the students taking their exams so we can have data and know where our students are.”

Conversely, some think that the hurricane was precisely the reason that the students needed exemptions.

“I wish that the students had [the exemptions],” history teacher Candice LeMasters said. “The pressure of studying for a lot of exams is tough under any condition, and so many of our students are still suffering effects of Harvey and really don’t need added stress to their lives right now. To me, it’s more about the stress on the students rather than the stress on me.”

The students were expecting to be able to use exemptions on their hardest exams. Now, they must prepare for the exams that they had intended on waiving. Needless to say, there are those in the student body that are upset with the decision.

“I felt that it was unfair for the exemptions to be taken away,” senior Linda Zhou said. “I was going to exempt AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and AP Economics. I’m left with no choice but to study with the little time of the day I have to spare and stay up late into the night.”

There is hope for a brighter future ahead, though. Students will most likely receive exemptions next semester.

“I think that’s what the projection is for next semester,” Randle-Filer said. “We didn’t have them for the first semester of last year, and we ended up having them second semester. I think it will be a motivation, especially for the seniors, to buckle down with their attendance and coursework in order to be prepared for second semester.”

Individuals in the student body decided to take action by creating an online petition for the exemptions. There have been many electronic signatures on the petition, but the district still remains steadfast in their decision.

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