The actions of the Toledo Public Schools these past two weeks has been anything but exemplary. Let’s start with the Start High school graduation. The Start graduates were given instructions concerning graduation that included the following. “This is still a school event and a dignified ceremony, not a ball game. No gestures, dancing, hand signs, hooting, hollering, yelling. Noisemakers/air horns will be confiscated. The Toledo Police Department will be present to escort violators out of the ceremony and possibly into custody.” Please remember to be courteous and respectful to all participants of Commencement. Although there was much “hooting and hollering” and I counted about 10 police, I don’t think any parent, student, friend or relative got arrested for being overjoyed that they had a student to graduate. The Salutatorian stated in her speech that for every three graduates, there was one missing that started high school with them in 2004. Graduating must be a great feat at Start, so why would you threaten to arrest participants because they clapped or yelled for their student graduating!

Darlene Fisher was one of the speakers and when it was her turn to speak, it looked like no one wanted to introduce her to speak.. It looked like John Foley was supposed to introduce her but didn’t. After a bit of a pause, she walked up to the microphone and gave a good speech about standing up for what is right. What a novel idea.

This was the Class of 2008 but in the program it was listed as the Class of 2007!

A Press Conference was held today to announce the closing of Pickett Elementary and the firing of the teachers and the principal. Although the teachers can teach in other schools and the principal can be a principal in another school they can no longer be a part of Pickett which has been on academic emergency for eight years. I do think that the staff should have been told before today. Hopefully the new school will not include the washer and dryer.

Many, many students were given ROY this school year, especially at McTigue Junior High School. For those who don’t know what ROY is, it is an acronym for “rest of year,” as in being suspended for the rest of the year and in a lot of cases, suspensions stretched into the next school year. Therefore many students will not start school until their suspension days are up sometime in early September.

The madness ended this school year with many students not finding out that they would not be able to graduate until the day of rehearsal, which is held the day before graduation. I know of one Start student who did not find out that he was ½ credit short of graduation until hours before graduation.

TPS gone wild.

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Pickett which has been on academic emergency for eight years.

Eight years worth of students who don't need remedial math to understand they got the shaft, and someone collected $11,000 per student per year giving it to them.

This isn't a school system. This is sick.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Principal Liz Wray very politely told all in attendance at Start's graduation that in order for all students' names to be heard clearly, she was requesting that the audience refrain from loud responses for individuals. It was a matter of respect - what's wrong with that?

As far as a student not knowing that they weren't eligible to graduate, all I can say is that student must have been in denial. It has been weeks since every senior was contacted and advised of their standing. They were given options to fulfill the requirements, and some will do so over the summer. If a student claims to have not known their standing, then they weren't paying attention - they were given plenty of notice - during conferences with their counselors nearly a month ago, at the senior breakfast, and at the graduation rehearsal.

And yes, there are many students who went into Start as freshmen, but ended up somewhere else. Most moved to another TPS high school or academy, and some left the Toledo area. That doesn't mean that 1 out of 4 students failed to graduate - just that they finished high school somewhere other than Start.

Start High School is an absolutely awesome school, with great school spirit and Spartan pride. The new building is incredibly nice, and discipline has been handled well by the new administration in the building. Hopefully, many more families will choose to move into Start's neighborhoods and send their students to this fine school.

Finding out you are short of credits is nothing new or something that only happens at Start. At the beginning of my senior year (Bowsher class of 1983) I went to the office to confirm I was on track to graduate and my advisor told me I was good to go. When school resumed after Christmas break suddenly I was 1/2 a credit short because of a failing science grade in my freshman year!

I ended up having to take a correspondence course to get the credit because more then one teacher refused to let me into their class either because it was so late in the year or because I was a senior and the class was for underclassmen.

As for being told to keep it quiet when names are being called, thats also something that is not new, Its called being polite and we were told the same thing 25 years ago. My daughter was told the same thing when she graduated in 2005. Its common courtesy. I'll admit we were never threatened with arrest but perhaps in the history of graduations from Start there was good reason to bring that up.

Personally, I think its only fair to the other familys who are there and also want to see and hear their child as their name is called and they cross that stage.

I'm so glad I don't have any children in this TPS mess.

The comment about one student missing from every three students enrolled in 2004 at Start did not come from me it came from the Salutatorian. She would know better than I about how many of her peers disappeared in four years of high school. I am sure that she researched it before she spoke it. Her words did not indicate that this phenomena was because of the mobility rate at the school.

As far as a student not knowing if a student was going to graduate did not indicate that the student was in denial. It indicates that TPS has gone mad.

At Woodward HS, a student knew that she was not going to graduate and she and her family were resigned to that fact and moved on, however the day before graduation (Tuesday) at the rehearsal at the Art Museum a staff member called a parent to inquire why the student was not at rehearsal. The parent explained that her daughter failed 3 parts of the OGT. The staff members stated that no she was on the graduation list and if the parent could find a cap and gown, pay her fees and fines that she could graduate the next morning (Wednesday-yesterday) along with her peers.

The mom took the daughter to rehearsal, went to Woodward, paid the fines and fees, bought tickets, (you can only buy tickets if you are on the graduation list) found a cap and gown and went back to pick up her daughter. The daughter was given a yard sign stating that she was a Woodward graduate. The parent put the sign in her yard and took the daughter to the beauty shop, went to purchase other graduation supplies, notified family and friends and did what people do to prepare for graduation. (Only difference is she only had hours to prepare).

By the time she got back home, which was late, the sign was gone from her yard and there was a note on her door that stated that Woodward made a mistake that the student would not be graduating and to call Woodward in the morning at 8:00AM. Graduation was scheduled for 10:00 AM . Of course you know the rest of the story.

This family was sent on an emotional roller coaster of untold magnitude by people we the public pay to get it right. The student was not in denial...............


I sat 20 feet from you at the Start graduation but things clearly looked different from my vantage point. I was given the same program with the typo introducing the class of 2007 (oops, but big deal), but welcomed the correspondence about the inappropriate behavior. Graduations should be a time to be happy and there is nothing wrong with a family showing their pride by cheering for their graduate. When another daughter graduated from Start in 2003 the family before mine showed so much pride that I couldn't hear my daughter's name being called as she received her diploma. This year I could hear the names. I heard the salutatorian mention one in four that began at Start didn't graduate from Start, but I didn't hear her pass judgement as to where the blame for that should fall. She doesn't know, but apparently you do.
As for the student(s) that didn't find out if they passed until the last minute, there were plenty of opportunities along the way to find out and do something about it. I told my kids that if you are going to jump across a 20 foot canyon, you don't aim for just 20 feet. If you aim for 25 feet, falling an inch short has a completely different outcome.
There are many reasons for students beginning at Start or any TPS school to not graduate from that school, and only one of those is the school system. I will agree they have an administrative mess and clearly need to do a better job leading the horses to the water. Making them drink is another matter.

Another observation - at the 2003 graduation students who were entering the military were recognized and applauded along with those receiving scholarships. I was disappointed to see that was missing from this year's ceremony.

her mother was.

If the mother knew that her daughter had failed not one, but three parts of the OGT how could she not have known that the phone call she got was in error?

Yes its sad that the kid got her hopes up but I'm sorry, I place much more of the blame on the parent who knew the girl had failed three of the required tests that she needed to pass in order to graduate rather then on some school secretary who made a mistake on her call list.

did you read and comprehend what I wrote about what happened at Woodward. The student, presented with a 20 foot canyon, aimed at 25 feet but only reached 18 feet. She survived the fall into the canyon was revived and told that she actually reached the 20 feet, although she was bloodied and battered she began to celebrate her success, only to be told that she actually only reached the original 18 feet............................. I don't even know how to finish with the scenario/analogy that you presented, can you help me out?

TPS Gone Mad

It would have been nice if you could have been brave enough to introduce yourself to me since we sat 20 feet apart (according to you) and you knew who I was but I didn't know who you were. But I guess that is Toledo's and TPS's version of hospitality. :=)

TPS Gone Mad

You mean as a paunchy, balding, earring and tattooless past middle-aged guy I am not easily recognizeable? Problem is I wasn't the one that spotted you. Someone else in my group saw you going down the stairs after the ceremony, and you said earlier in this blog about the Distillery meeting you weren't interested in meeting any of the other bloggers here so I wasn't bold enough to try to chase after you. Even though we disagree on a great deal, it is clear by your writings here that you are quite intelligent and capabale of a lively conversation.
From your writings, TPS can do absolutely nothing right. In fact, they get it right at least some of the time though we agree not nearly enough. Your story about the Woodward student is a classic example of the administrative mess I referred to, but to someone who had failed 3 parts of the OGT the exclusion from the ceremony should not have been a surprise and that telephone call telling her otherwise should have been questioned. I also have to question the part about the school going to the trouble to first place, then remove the congratulations sign from the lawn because we had to purchase and place our own sign. They must do things differently there. If it happened it was way out of bounds.

will not alleviate the chaos to be expected for the upcoming school year. One school shut down, no place for parents to wash their students clothes, another school turning into a magnet school, (who will be given priority?) and another school being given intensive professional development, is that to take place over the summer? Is this for the current teachers at Fulton or teachers coming into Fulton? Teachers not knowing where they will be next school year, principals being placed and maybe displaced again due to the closing of Pickett. Students on suspension this school year, stretching into the next school year, the Marina District stuff, a possible new discipline policy, a major principal suspended and reportedly in rehab, hearing officers out of control, special education on notice of violations and possible lawsuits, lawsuits possibly from retired teachers, decisions need to be made about Scott High School, Old West End and Old Orchard without principals, state scores coming in, will they be good will they be bad will they be a true reflection of the district, need for a new levy, .......................................

It seems to me a good time for parents to strike after summer break.


I am pleased that Scott High School's graduation went very well. I was in attendance as my child graduated this year from Scott.

There were Toledo Police present, but everything was in order. Everyone gave the speakers respect, and applauded and cheered at the appropriate times.

Here are a few clips that I took from the Scott High School Graduation:

it was more than a secretarial error. Even if it was JUST a secretarial error someone should have caught the error. At $50,000 a year those kinds of errors should not be made by a secretary, especially in this type of economy. The parents had no responsibility for the error, they don't work for the school, the school works for us. Also the parent told the staff that she had failed the OGT. Still they moved forward.

TPS Gone Mad

The parents most certainly do have some responsibilty since they knew that their child should not be graduating.

You're right.. they are not responsible for the erroneous (sp) phone call.

They are responsible for every single action they took after that phone call.

They knew it was a mistake.

Rather then halt the whole thing by making some phone calls and admitting that their little darling had in fact failed to pass the tests required to graduate they ran out and spent money on all the trappings.

I guess they were thinking that their kid was about to get a free pass to a high school diploma that she didn't actually earn.

When the error was finally caught they want to cry foul because their daughter got her hopes up.

It doesn't work that way.

Sure it sucks that she didn't get to walk with her class but its not like they don't give those tests multiple times.
Maybe they should have spent the money on a tutor to help the girl pass the tests so she could graduate.

Purnhrt....the schools do not work for us....they're not politicians. What does the economy have to do with a secretary making a mistake? How much do you make a year? When you make a mistake at work does someone who doesn't even work at your job say that you shouldn't make mistakes because you make a certain amount of money? Bob The Dad...excellent comments.

Let's not forget...public schools are like prisons without the bars. Those who work in them have to deal with behavioral/social/economical problems that most of us never could have imagined when we went to, cut them some slack. The reason they need to tell people to behave is because obviously in the past....people didn't. That's why they tell you not to put a hair dryer in a bathtub or you'll get electrocuted...because some idiot has already done it.

I will cut them some slack when you enroll your home schooled children into a TPS public school. :=)

Ohio Kat: you are right it is time for parents to take the reins of their child's TPS education and come August decide what is best for their student. I know if parents decided to strike, changes would come quick, fast and in a hurry.

TPS Gone Mad

Good point. It's too bad there isn't a good charter school close by that I could enroll my son in, or even one that had transporation. I'd make the switch. Unfortunately with my work schedule and child care arrangements it just doesn't work.

Students leaving in droves would get their attention.

Its a shame more parents didn't vote down that last levy request to let them know we're few up with this crap.

At Woodward HS, a student knew that she was not going to graduate and she and her family were resigned to that fact and moved on, however the day before graduation (Tuesday) at the rehearsal at the Art Museum a staff member called a parent to inquire why the student was not at rehearsal. The parent explained that her daughter failed 3 parts of the OGT. The staff members stated that no she was on the graduation list and if the parent could find a cap and gown, pay her fees and fines that she could graduate the next morning (Wednesday-yesterday) along with her peers.

The student knew that she'd failed. Her family knew it as well. So after 12 years of dealing with public schools and the clowns and fatheads who staff the school, Mom is going to believe a staff member who isn't smart enough to understand that there may be errors on her master list of graduates? Shame on the parent! I would expect the school to make mistakes, but I don't excuse the parents and the child on this one. The family knew the situation, and because someone (what, exactly, is a staff member?) tells them over the phone that it's all a big mistake, they buy into it without even verifying this story with someone in authority.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

if it was a dean that made the telephone call? Was the parent supposed to argue with the dean?

It was a secretary who made the mistake. I would be surprised if a dean would still tell a student to show up to graduation after being informed of the student's failure of the OGT.


"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

Was the parent supposed to argue with the dean?

The Dean is, what, omnipotent? A member of the Royal Family? Tell me, PurnHrt, would you argue with the Dean?

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

As far as the Start graduation warnings go...good for them! Seems like graduation ceremonies (everywhere - not just TPS) have started to turn into frigging circuses. I know so many people who have been disappointed at graduation ceremonies due to not being able to hear graduates' names due to idiots hootin' and hollerin' (excessively), air horns, etc. Air horns have no place at a graduation ceremony for crying out loud.

I do feel for the Woodward student though. Yes, to an extent, I can understand the argument that the student/her family should have known better. But still, it was a huge gaffe on the secretary's part. And I can understand why perhaps the family was so excited at the news that they didn't dare question the school employee (who they presumed had accurate info).

what business is it of yours what my income is? I was always taught it was impolite to ask someone how much money they make, what they paid for something and how old a woman is.
Where did you learn your manners?

It was a dean not a secretary!

Because earlier you said a secretary made the call.


"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and
five times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -Charles

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

I think it was me who first used the word "secretary" not Purnhrt. I believe she only used the word "staff member" and didn't identify the job of the caller.


Not that it really matters who made the mistaken call.


The family knew the girl hadn't met the requirements. Its just silly that they thought she was actually going to graduate with her class.



Well if its any consolation, Waite's graduation ceremony was like being in a gym full of animals, people were yelling, jumping screaming like freaking crazy. Also they seemed to be selective when announcing students going into the military, at first they mentioned 3 of them but during the scolorship announcment they only acknowledged one of them. All i can say is good freaking riddence to TPS and once and for all!

Twila claimed that these were given as a part of instructions:

"The Toledo Police Department will be present to escort violators out of the ceremony and possibly into custody."

Anyone with any sense would look at such a statement and conclude they need to get the hell out of such a school district. It's bad enough schools are "prison pipelines" where too many students are so badly educated that they just end up in prison having not understood much of anything. But it's yet another step to turn schools into "pre-prisons" where threats against students by jack-booted thugs become part of the common rhetoric.

Too bad the "law and order" types on this board and elsewhere only look at the order aspects of such threats, and not at the contempt aspects which have a far greater effect. We're treating students like prisoners, and that is only generating contempt within the students for the law in the first place.

threats against students by jack-booted thugs become part of the common rhetoric.

Get 'em used to the idea that the thugs in blue are always right, and that being threatened and roughed up by JBTs is a regular part of life.

Like in Lima, Ohio.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

You can see the program at the link below.

Click here

purnhrt - your original post stated that a Start student found out just hours before the ceremony that he was 1/2 credit short. That's the student I know about, - hopefully the coursework will be completed this summer. However, you later posted about a Woodward student who failed parts of the OGT. I did not call that situation one of denial. Hopefully that student can successfully re-take those portions and get a diploma soon, as well. I thought your link was going to show the typo in the program. It does show the notice given to all students about the rehearsal and graduation. There have been some past TPS graduations that have gotten rowdy, and I commend any administration that insists on order for such a momentous event.

insisting on order and threatening parents, friends of family and community with the police and arrest are two different things and is out of order. It is seen by some in the black community as another round of Zero Tolerance of black students since more black student then ever graduated from Start this school year. The police threats were not included last year and were not necessary this year..

You should never threaten anything that you cannot deliver on. The participants (parents etc.) in Start's graduation, hooted,hollered and yelled but no one was arrested, although there was heavy police presence, more than I have seen in previous Start graduations.

The student at Start was in denial when he found out hours before graduation that due to error on the part of Start that he could not walk with his class? Maybe I have been misinformed? Please explain.


COLUMBIA, S.C. — When school officials in Rock Hill, South Carolina, tell graduation ceremony crowds to hold their applause until the end, they mean it — Police arrested seven people after they were accused of loud cheering during the ceremonies.

Six people at Fort Mill High School's graduation were charged Saturday and a seventh at the graduation for York Comprehensive High School was charged Friday with disorderly conduct, authorities said. Police said the seven yelled after students' names were called.,2933,365461,00.html


- Just the KAT, thinking out loud again.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

makes me wonder why type of school it is. I think I will make a guess and then look the school up.

information and was transferred to five people. The last one was not in and I was told that he will call me when he gets in. The basic information could have been given by the secretary who first answered the telephone but she immediately got an attitude when I asked for information.

Will give update when I get the information.

Why does it matter what type of school it was?

They were asked to and expected to be polite so that everyone could enjoy seeing their children graduate.

Hoot, hollar, scream stomp all you want at the private graduation party you have for your kid but don't try to make like your son or daughter is the only graduate who counts and ruin it for everyone else.

 *disclaimer*  I am using "you" and "your" in a general sense and my post is NOT directed in any way shape or form to any individual poster on this forum.

The basic information could have been given by the secretary who first answered the telephone but she immediately got an attitude when I asked for information.

Now, why would she do a thing like that? She must be having a bad hair day, or something.

I can just imagine you calling for information about an incident that already has you seeing three shades of red, then being confronted by a polite, Southern secretary.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

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