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Student Stripped Of Valedictorian Honor

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A Taylor ISD senior says he is being stripped of his title as valedictorian. This comes after the school district is retracting honors credits that were given for one extracurricular activity.

Taylor ISD sent out a letter in December saying the school should have never offered honors band the last two years. They since took away honors credits to students who were in the class, which is drawing criticism by many parents.

Taylor ISD senior, Kyle Bohatch, says he was well on his way to becoming valedictorian of his class.

"I had set that goal even in middle school and had strived for it ever since," Bohatch said.

But without warning, that all changed.

"I had it in my hands and then when it was just taken away from ne, it was devastating," Bohatch said.

Looking through the student handbook, it clearly lists all honors courses designated by Taylor ISD, which includes advanced fine arts. But Bohatch parents ask why that's not being followed.

"A child signs up for courses and does exactly what he's told and then in denied that credit," Kim Bohatch, Kyles's mother said.

Kyle's report cards and transcripts show the sudden change.

 "He goes from #1 in August to #2," she said.

After the school district took away the extra credit for honors band, he loses 5 honors points for the course he took last year and 5 honors points for this year. So instead of having a 105 in the class, he receives a 100.

"I would like to know why. Why make this change in the middle of the year why take away a year that was completed."

But they never received an answer. A grievance has been filed by a law firm representing the family.

They are hoping to settle the disagreement with the school through mediation.

"It gives the local district a formal policy that's in place that allows parents or other people to seek due process if they believe one of their rights has been violated," education advocate Mike Kinser said.

In response, Taylor ISD gave back credits for the 2012 to 2013 school year but not for 2013 to 2014, which keeps Bohatch ranked second in his class.

"Yea it is something that's hurt me but I also feel like it was a wakeup call that I can do better," he said.

To be in honors band Bohatch had to get the course signed off by the teacher. He also had to commit to doing a solo and compete.

"This is all a local decision. How to grade (with one exception for no-pass, no-play), how to weight grades and who is valedictorian or in the top 10% is based on local policy. There is no state authority over those decisions," a Texas Education Agency spokesperson said.

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