Letters – Parent praises waiver


To the Editor:
As the parent of a 2008 LHS graduate I would like to respond to the editorial concerning the Pre-AP and AP Waiver.
My child was a four-year starting Varsity letterman named to All District Academic and Athletic teams four years running and was All State Academic her senior year. In addition she was a class officer and/or student council officer all

4 years. She was also a member of Key Club, NHS, MASA and played ASA softball year round all four years.
She was enrolled in Pre-AP and AP classes all four years and dual credit courses her senior year.
Was she ever “over-extended”? Absolutely. More than once.
Did my “bookworm” feel that she was “more special” than the kids who “just wanted to do their time”? Only in the sense that she was ALWAYS held to a higher standard and rarely given a second chance when she messed up. And she certainly was not considered “special” in the eyes of LHS, where the only person who ever recognized the awesome honor of being named to the All State Academic Team was Coach Melinda Kirst.
You worry that the Pre-Ap and AP Waiver is “rewarding children for failing at something they set out to do”. Maybe you think it would be better if they set out to do nothing so as not to fail… they should just hang out and “do their time”. This waiver works only one time for a class. If the student does not get their grade up by the end of the next grading period they will suffer the consequences.
I see this waiver as a well deserved second chance for a kid who is doing everything they can to perform at the highest possible level. It gives them an opportunity to either learn to balance/prioritize their activities better or to work harder.
These are KIDS. And this should be a time when we should be mentoring them and guiding them into adulthood not punishing them for trying to achieve too much.
I strongly feel that the high achievers and “bookworms” should be granted at least a small portion of the understanding and compassion shown the “at risk kids”. There are certainly second chances in place for kids who flunk the TAKS tests. We have an entire campus – Pride High School – dedicated to kids who require an alternative learning environment.
Yes, we send our kids to school to learn. But you are sorely mistaken if you do not see the learning value of extracurricular activities. Community service organizations taught my kid the value and importance and enjoyment achieved in giving back to your community. UIL academic competitions are certainly learning events. As are band, DECA, FFA livestock judging competitions, etc.
I could write a book on the life lessons my daughter has learned from playing softball. Learning to put her teams’ needs before her own, how to handle failure and punishment for a job not well done and development of a work ethic which most adults could not keep up with are just a few.
My hat is off to LISD for finally understanding that setting your goals too high as a teenager is not a punishable offense. It is time the “bookworms” got a little respect in this school district from someone besides the teachers.
S.J. Gravel


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