HOLLAND, Mich. (June 6, 2014) – Austin Boshell was just four days away from graduating, but now that has all changed.
“The graduation that I thought I earned and I thought I deserved but apparently not,” Austin said.
Austin and his family are devastated after they say they were called to V.R. Tech, an alternative school in the Holland Public Schools District, and told that a teacher’s mistake is jeopardizing the future of Austin and other students.
Austin says the school made the graduation announcement and even gave him a cake on his last day.
His grandfather says they were told the principal and supervisor of education were not familiar with Holland Schools because they had only been at the school this year.
The family says they were told an audit had been done and the school had realized Austin had to take classes to graduate – courses they say he was previously told were not part of his curriculum.
“I never had the classes put into my curriculum at all,” Austin said.
The sheet of Austin’s diploma requirements says “N/A” next to the classes he was previously told he didn’t need to take. Austin says they principal highlighted those classes a the ones preventing him from graduating.
The family says they were also told the teacher responsible for the alleged mistake has been fired.
“We`ve tried so hard to raise these kids for seven years to graduate,” grandfather Robert Kladder said through tears.
High school graduation is a huge accomplishment for every graduate but even more for Austin.
“We adopted him because his mother was unfit, him and his sister. This has been a long process and this is a big accomplishment for him,” grandmother Nena Cladder said.
We reached out to several people with Holland Public Schools searching for answers. Communications Coordinator Tom Page said there wasn’t enough information to respond to our questions and that privacy laws prevented him from confirming there was a possible investigation.
Numerous calls to Superintendent Brian Davis and Principal Paula DeRoos were not returned and faculty outside V.R. Tech refused to answer questions because “the school day was over.”
“We`re still gonna throw him a party because even if it takes all summer he`s still gonna graduate,” Nena said.
Open house invitations have already been sent for his graduation party but Austin just wants to walk at commencement. For him, it’s a onetime shot before heading to college in the fall for cinematography.
“I`ve had a hard life and I wanna touch people in ways that I can reach 100`s of people in one thing than a few people now,” Austin said.
Austin’s family hopes the school will change their mind about letting him walk at graduation and hold off on giving him his diploma until those final classes are complete.