PGCPS Seniors denied graduation due to guidance counselor error

OXON HILL, Md. — At least two Prince George’s County high school seniors will miss out on graduation Wednesday due to an error made by their guidance counselor.

Potomac High School seniors, Delvin Tate Jr. and Isaiah Strattonbey were told just a week before graduation that they would not be allowed to walk across the stage with their peers because their guidance counselor failed to enroll them in the one credit core requirement, Foundations of Technology class.

“I’m trying to go to college and get my life in order so I can go ahead and graduate and they just messed me over.”, said Strattonbey who plans to pursue a career in IT.

For him, the predicament is crushing with the realization that the class could have been taken any time during his four-year-matriculation.
To make matters worse, Strattonbey’s father said the guidance counselor tried to cover her tracks by enrolling him during the last week of classes and switching his grade.

“All I get is a bunch of “I’m sorry” not no resolutions. Not no, oh he can walk the stage, but after he walks the stage he still got to take the place. No, just I’m sorry and this is how it is.”, said Shercohn Evans, Strattonbey’s father.

Evans explained that even though he is his son’s primary caretaker, he was not notified directly by Potomac High School and the same would happen with another student.

“They knew about the error in the beginning of April but I wasn’t informed until last Wednesday.”, said Rashad Price, older brother and guardian of Potomac High School Senior, Delvin Tate Jr.

Price said he found out when he went to pick up the cap and gown for his brother.
Price too, showed documentation showing where the same guidance counselor tried using grades from another class to pass for the core requirement.

Price said, “She moved all his grades from the sculpture class down to the Foundations of Technology class and it says that it equals his grade out to be a B, so as a parent looking at this, I wouldn’t even know.”

In a letter written to County Executive Rushern Baker, Tate explains that he was told of the situation by his guidance counselor in April, but that it would not affect him graduating on time as long as he made up all the work.

Tate said that he was told, “Just sit in the class… there’s only three weeks left so that’s like five classes. Just do the work. If you need help with some of the work or projects, I’ll just do them, and she did, but…. still not graduating, so.”

In a statement, PGCPS said neither Tate or Strattonbey would be able to participate in the graduation ceremony because neither have met all graduation requirements due to a counselor’s mistake found during a peer review process by the school’s counseling team.
However, the school would cover the cost of summer school for both of them.
But Isaiah’s father says that response just isn’t good enough..

“Where is that fair to either child? You’re crushing their dreams.”, said Evans.

In a statement, Rushern Baker’s office said, “This is a very unfortunate circumstance for these students and their families. PGCPS should work with these students and their parents to make sure they meet all the needed requirements to graduate.
As far as policies and protocol of commencement ceremonies, that is presided over by PGCPS and the Board of Education.”

As of Wednesday, a third Potomac High School Senior was also held back from graduation for the same situation involving a guidance counselor’s error