NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Bronx principal drew plenty of reaction Friday with a controversial plan to motivate her students to graduate.
Students at the Collegiate Institute of Math and Science are already some of the highest achievers in the city, CBS 2′s Kathryn Brown reported.
The school boasts an 80 percent graduation rate — much higher than the citywide average of 65 percent. It’s even on pace for a 90 percent graduation rate this year, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
But principal Shadia Alvarez said that’s not quite good enough, and in what was seen as a drastic move, announced she would cancel senior prom unless the senior class guaranteed a 100 percent graduation rate, Brown reported.
“I was just shocked because I didn’t think they could cancel the prom,” junior Reggie Sanders said.
“That’s not fair at all ’cause that one kid could be somebody that doesn’t even come to school or cares,” freshman Jose Negron said.
Students said administrators made the announcement, noting grades had begun to slip at the notoriously high-performing school.
“The grades dropping that rapidly was something wrong, so they shouldn’t have the prom,” freshman Christopher Bisono said.
“I’m guessing all the seniors are disappointed, this prom is probably the one thing they look forward to most out of their senior year,” freshman Samantha Gonzalez said.
However, the prom will apparently still go on.
In an email, the principal said prom is not canceled and was simply trying to motivate her students, 1010 WINS’ Jones reported.
A spokesperson earlier said the school has high expectations and the announcement was intended as a motivational tool and not as a threat.
“They only want what’s best for us to go to college and they don’t want anyone to be left behind,” junior Emerald Rodriguez said.
Students said they’re relieved to see a poster threatening to cancel the prom now replaced with a billboard encouraging students to sign up. For many, the experience was a wake-up call to buckle down as graduation nears.
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