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June 27, 2022

Graduation is a Privilege

I agree with Arianah Ruzovich’s letter about graduation being a
privilege for students who work hard to maintain their grades and
to pass the set exams accordingly.
Editor,

I agree with Arianah Ruzovich’s letter about graduation being a privilege for students who work hard to maintain their grades and to pass the set exams accordingly. In 1981, I was in Germany attending Zweibruecken American High School. I was a junior when I found myself pregnant. This was during the time when teen pregnancy was still the “dirty family secret” among military families, and girls finding themselves in that situation were shipped stateside to reside with their grandparents.

My father was not in the military, therefore his military career was not jeopardized. Although I was not the first teen at the school to become pregnant, I was the first pregnant teen to continue my education at that school.

I had the privilege of being supported by my family and school counselor, Marian Grothus, and in December of 1981 I gave birth to a beautiful boy. I missed several weeks of school, but worked hard to make up my work so that I would not fail.

I returned to the states for my senior year. I worked hard at being a mom and a student. My main goal at that time was to finish high school so that I could make something of my life. I had the best grades ever.

The catch was since I moved from Germany to the USA, I didn’t have the credits required to graduate stateside. In Germany I only needed three credits and I could have graduated early! Now they were telling me I needed to complete a whole year of school in order to receive Maryland credit! Can you believe that? I found out that I could take the classes I needed to graduate from my high school in Germany and have the transcripts mailed to me. So that is what I did. When graduation rolled around I wasn’t allowed to walk across the stage to receive my diploma!

Guess what their reasoning was. I didn’t have Maryland credits and if I was on stage when the speaker said all the students participating in graduation had Maryland credits, he would look like a liar! What a poor excuse. They did offer me “tickets” to attend. I never went. Why should I sit in the audience at my own graduation and look like a flunky after all my hard work?

Needless to say, I worked hard and feel that I deserved the “privilege” of the graduation ceremony. Unfortunately that never happened for me.

I sincerely hope that what I shared never happens to anyone else. Students have the opportunity to receive the help they need if they are struggling, much more so than I had 24 years ago. Put your best efforts forward and best of luck in all you do.

Graduation is a privilege that not all of us are entitled to.

Andi Anderson, via e-mail

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