My faith in the sensibilities of regular folks is reaffirmed. The reaffirmation came by way of Ohio high school senior, Austin Fisher. Austin was told by his school district recently that he would not be allowed to participate in his graduation ceremony because he had been absent two days too many. The decision was based on standard policy, but Austin’s situation was anything but the standard story.
Austin’s absences were not based on him taking too many vacation days or cutting classes. Austin’s absences were a result of him taking care of his mother (Teresa Fisher) who has spent the past six years battling breast cancer. Austin and his mom are the only ones in their household, so it has been Austin who has taken his mom to appointments and cared for her when she was too sick to care for herself. It was Austin that took on two jobs to help pay the bills when his mom was too sick to work. So Austin missed 16 unexcused days in his senior year and the policy says students cannot participate in the graduation ceremony if they miss more than 14.
But then the word about Austin’s plight became national news and a petition posted on change.org quickly accumulated 90,000 signatures from regular folks who asked the school district to reconsider its decision. And guess what – the school district changed its decision.
So Austin Fisher will walk and via Austin’s story I am reminded of the power of the voices of regular folks. 90,000 regular folks who had no reason to care or get involved – cared and got involved. Regular folks helped rewrite Austin’s story.
Bravo to the regular folks who lent their voices to Austin’s cause…you did good.
Day one thousand and sixteen of the new forty – obla di obla da