If graduation were held in the Davis School District today, at least 350 seniors would not get their diplomas.

Why? Because they've been naughty.Those 350-plus seniors have "unsatisfactory" marks in citizenship. Most of the bad marks result from tardiness and unexcused absences, school officials say.

A district policy that took effect last fall requires citizenship credit for graduation.

"At this date, we still have a number of senior students who have not made up citizenship credit," said Stephen Ronnenkamp, assistant school district superintendent.

Fortunately for the students, graduation will not be held today. They have another week or so of makeup time.

A student who gets a "U" in citizenship can erase it by taking a four-hour evening class or by giving four hours of community service. In addition, the student must pay a $10 fee for the class or a $5 fee for the community service.

Students with more than one U must take more than one class or participate in more than one service project. So, a student with five U's for example, must take five four-hour evening classes or perform five four-hour stints of community service.

Many seniors who have procrastinated the day of their U repentance are finding themselves in evening and Saturday classes this month, hoping to take care of their behavioral sins before graduation.

"I don't know if the kids think this is a Hula-Hoop that will go the way of other fads or not," said Wayne Baker, Layton High vice principal. "But I hope there is not one that won't be able to walk across the stage because of citizenship."

Some students "are not quite sure whether the board of education is serious about this," Ronnenkamp admitted.

The board, however, has reaffirmed its intention to enforce the policy.

Officials from each high school said they expect that most - if not all - of their seniors with citizenship problems will make up the credit by graduation time at the end of the month.

Each school has a notification and deadline plan for the makeup.

Seniors are not the only students who should be worried, however. Sophomores and juniors who have U's will still have the bad marks on their record next year. Not only do the unsatisfactory marks stand in the way of graduation, they can also prevent a student's participation in extracurricular activities.


(Additional information)

Unsatisfactory conditions

Numbers of high school seniors who would not graduate today because of unsatisfactory citizenship:

Bountiful 68

Clearfield n/a

Davis 63

Layton 85

Viewmont 104

Woods Cross 30