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West Brunswick principal rescinds resignation

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Brock Ahrens will remain principal at West Brunswick High School after a change of heart today at graduation, according to the school district.

"I took a huge risk for myself, my school, my community, and more importantly I took a huge risk for my family," Ahrens said.

Everyone stood in the room when Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden took the podium Saturday morning and offered Ahrens his job back.

"I believe it was a big shocker to everybody," Ryver Powers said.

Powers had perfect attendance all four years of high school. He says he is glad the principal was able to stand by what he believes.

His proud grandfather, James Rodinson, sitting in the audience, was worried Ahrens was not going to accept his position back.

"I was glad to see him come back," Rodinson said. "It was a hasty decision I think he made when he did it. I still think he was in the right."

Friday Ahrens turned in his letter of resignation after a dispute about the attendance policy for graduating students. Ahrens says he never wanted to leave the school.

"They knew it was the right thing to do," Ahrens said. "They knew it was the right thing to do to support somebody that was going to support students."

Ahrens says this will start a conversation about the way forward for the schools, and he wants to find a solution.

"An advisory committee would be put together. We will look at our graduation classes in Brunswick County and try to come up with some kind of solution that involves not only academics, but also attendance," he said.0

He also says he hopes to find a way to acknowledge the students who do have perfect attendance in the future.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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What was his beef with

What was his beef with Dragon club?

Ahrens

Ahrens should be fired. Ahrens continues down a road of having a God complex that no one has questioned. Ahrens runs this school as if he is God and his decision is final. When will the school board realize the damage that this fool is doing to the kids? Kids are being disciplined under the direction of Ahrens without notification of the parents. Ahrens is the judge, jury and enforcer of the discipline.
Brunswick County School board should be ashamed of what they have allowed to transpire at this school.

AHRENS

WOOO HOOOO!!! Pretty much said it all!!

In some circumstances.. a little empathy may help..

Yes, the students did get to walk and were just not given their diploma. They need to go back to the school as of this morning to make up whatever time they had missed. My son was one of them.. But before you jump on me, I agree with the absentee cut off, but I do however, think that the circumstances surrounding the absences should also be taken into account, also the students that had 100% attendance should be honored regardless of anything else. They deserve recognition for that!! As for my son,.. in January, my dad, (his grandpa), had a heart attack, a stroke AND during the tests they found a brain tumor.. So he missed about a week of school then, in order to help care for his disabled dad so I could go to New York to be with my dad during surgery.
He missed several more days, ( to be honest, about 24 days). This was due to our extreme misfortune regarding my husbands health. He's diabetic since my son was born. In 2008 he lost his eyesight to diabetic retinopathy. He also developed horrible neuropathy, and is VERY wobbly on his feet and falls OFTEN! He's in stage 5 renal failure. He had surgery on his neck, due to an injury to discs caused during a particularly bad fall in March. There were complications which made it very difficult for the anasthesia to leave his body. He also needed several blood transfusions. Which caused an extended hospital stay. Unfortunately I fell and broke my ankle during the same time period. We informed the school of these issues and we were told that as long as there were notes from each of the doctors that my son drove my husband to.. (it was my right ankle so I wasn't able to drive) So..unfortunately my son was dealing with personal family health issues.. although ALL OF HIS ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS WERE MET, NOT ONE FAILED CLASS. So in closing, I think that each situation should be evaluated and handled individually.

To all who want a blanket policy.

This is funny to hear the folks who want all the kids punished.
I wonder if when you have ever been pulled for speeding if you thought "I sure deserved that" or if you said those other cars were flying by me why not pull them?

I am sure everybody here that wants the kids to be dealt with harshly are the ones that will turn themselves in today for All the Rules they have broken! Because you need to make a stand!!
Don't talk about it! Be about it! It's the right thing to do! Bet none of you do the right thing today.. I sure won't either, but I also know there are circumstances that overshadow some rules. It's called discretion. Learn more about it you Perfect Citizens!

What difference does it make?

If the kids can pass who cares if they were there everyday or not.
I personally think attendance policies are a joke. I'll give you an example.

I would have students "who were a constant disruption, constantly suspended,disrespectful" not have the days they were suspended for count against them because they were labeled BEH or some other crap! But I had a good kid who was not ever an issue with any teacher administrator or student get involved in a horrible accident. And had to re-learn how to walk, talk, brush teeth and missed too many days because of that. The principal and some parents and teachers wanted to "stand their ground"! Well they stood it until a wave of National media crushed their little protest, do any of you remember that it was local? I taught for 28yrs and just retired 2 yrs ago. I say if a student can pass my class just showing up 50 to 70% of the time. It's not the student it's the teacher or the curriculum. If we are preparing them for college, than why have an attendance policy. My kids professors didn't care if you ever walked through the doors. Why is there an attendance policy anyway? If you can pass who cares?

I just remember that Laney student being told he couldn't graduate after that accident and the supporters of that principal stood firm with him. Then ran like roaches as soon as the media came to them parents and teachers. They looked so foolish and none of us ever forgot how quick those Cowards turned.
If they make the grade and are not hurting others chances to learn. Leave it alone! If they are a constant problem Get rid of them! That's my thought

I think that these things

I think that these things should be dealt with on an individual basis and the student you speak of should not have been punished for his extenuating circumstances.

However, the attendance policy is part of preparing kids for life. School isn't just about preparing kids for college. In the real world, when a person misses too much work, they get fired.

re: What difference does it make?

"I taught for 28yrs and just retired 2 yrs ago."

After reading your comments, now I know why so many kids graduating today are deficient in the writing skills.

Sorry it's not an English paper

Just so you should know Taxpayer.....

A lot of us know who wrote the above comment that you proof read so well.
Let's just see how well you can write after having a severe stroke less than a year ago!
Her point was made. All you did was show how "Awesome " you were in English class!

So what was your point about the story? Or were you the assigned proof reader/hall monitor?

The funny thing is we agree with her point! Only if the students haven't been a problem.

Graduation

Maybe the attendance policy is not the problem. I would question the curriculum that enables students to miss excessive amounts of time and still satisfactorily complete their work.

Worthless government schools

So, you don't come to school--and you can still graduate. Just shows how low the standards have fallen in government-run schools. The School Board should have given the principal an award--instead the school board voted to lower standards. No wonder concerned parents are begging for charter schools, private school vouchers--anything to get their children out of this garbage heap.

WELL. Did the students

WELL. Did the students walk?, or not? They shouldn't have. Unfair to the students that were in school when they were supposed to be during the year.

Yes, the students did get

Yes, the students did get to walk and were just not given their diploma. They need to go back to the school as of this morning to make up whatever time they had missed. My son was one of them.. But before you jump on me, I agree with the absentee cut off, but I do however, think that the circumstances surrounding the absences should also be taken into account, also the students that had 100% attendance should be honored regardless of anything else. They deserve recognition for that!! As for my son,.. in January, my dad, (his grandpa), had a heart attack, a stroke AND during the tests they found a brain tumor.. So he missed about a week of school then, in order to help care for his disabled dad so I could go to New York to be with my dad during surgery.
He missed several more days, ( to be honest, about 24 days). This was due to our extreme misfortune regarding my husbands health. He's diabetic since my son was born. In 2008 he lost his eyesight to diabetic retinopathy. He also developed horrible neuropathy, and is VERY wobbly on his feet and falls OFTEN! He's in stage 5 renal failure. He had surgery on his neck, due to an injury to discs caused during a particularly bad fall in March. There were complications which made it very difficult for the anasthesia to leave his body. He also needed several blood transfusions. Which caused an extended hospital stay. Unfortunately I fell and broke my ankle during the same time period. We informed the school of these issues and we were told that as long as there were notes from each of the doctors that my son drove my husband to.. (it was my right ankle so I wasn't able to drive) So..unfortunately my son was dealing with personal family health issues.. although ALL OF HIS ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS WERE MET, NOT ONE FAILED CLASS. So in closing, I think that each situation should be evaluated and handled individually.

WHOS JUMPING ON YOU? I don't

WHOS JUMPING ON YOU? I don't even know you. I ONLY ASKED A QUESTION. Was there no one else in your family,(friends, neighbors, etc) to help? 24 days is almost a month.

WHOS JUMPING ON ME??

I did not in any way mean to imply that you were jumping on me,, Just wanted to get my point across before people formed an opinion without knowing all the facts.. OK, believe me, if there was one person, any person that I could have asked for help, do you or anyone else seriously think that I would have accepted the help from my 17 year old son? Another thing.. my son was taught a lesson here.. if you step up and do the right thing and help during a family crisis you will be punished for it.

No, but you did say it. With

No, but you did say it. With all of yours and your husbands health problems, maybe you could have gotten some help from somewhere. why did your name change from JESSICA TO GINA? All I wanted to know was if the kids were allowed to walk? I didn't see any reference to it in the paper. I don't think that was forming an opinion on any thing. Whats all the fuss? They walked and graduated. Same as the rest of the kids.

I agree with you. Your son

I agree with you. Your son had extenuating circumstances and should not be punished for it. It's the kids that just don't feel like showing up and have complete disregard for the attendance policies that should be held accountable. The kids who cannot control the situation, such as your son, should be dealt with differently.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

MY SON....

Thank you so very much GUEST2020!! <3 In response to the other reply.. Seriously? I would NEVER have let my son miss ONE DAY of school if I had ANY OTHER OPTION AT ALL!! All of this did, however teach my son a GREAT lesson.. STEPPING UP, TAKING RESPONSIBILITY, DOING THE RIGHT THING AND HELPING YOUR FAMILY will only get you penalized??? This whole situation was handled so VERY wrong.. oh!! best part.!!! ... when they finally did consent to letting my son walk with his class.. They had given away his tickets! So YES, he walked BUT HIS PARENTS WERE NOT ABLE TO ATTEND?!?!?!?

They should have found a way

They should have found a way to let y'all be there. There is so much about this school system that absolutely sucks. Last year when my daughter graduated, we tried to talk to Pruden about the graduation situation and the limited number of tickets available. We were pawned off on his assistant. When we made the suggestion to consider facilities in neighboring counties for graduation ceremonies, they didn't want to hear it. I don't know why they quit having the ceremonies at the football fields. That is the only way to accommodate the families who want to see their loved ones celebrate. I guess they have to justify the auditorium. I don't know.

Your family has been through enough without all the crap that they handed you. Common sense has been gone from the education system for some time. It seems as if compassion is on its way out as well.

Well DANG! Was just

Well DANG! Was just starting to believe somebody in the BCS system was going to stand up for what was right and not be a pawn for the superintendent, board, and select group of parents with entitled children.

principal at west

Hero to zero..... played out for the media. Wow! What a crock

Typical

School systems have become bureaucratic blunders, like most government run agencies. Education has become and industry, instead of a profession.

It's no longer about inspiring students to want to learn. In fact, today's public schools do more to discourage and damage inspiration.

I agree with the person posting who said this story took the focus off of what should have been the most important aspect of graduation - the students. But, most school systems don't focus on the students, they focus on themselves.

Unbelieveable

I agree with the principal 100%!!It's time to get rid of the Board..They need some new blood in those seats!!I have seen my share of entitled students getting away with attending school for the most absurd reasons, and they would get away with it in the end,getting promoted without making up the days. I'm so glad my child is finished with the Brunswick county school system.. God bless you Mr. Ahrens and good luck!!

While I understand he

While I understand he probably didn't want to lose his job, he has now sold out to those who he feels are doing wrong by letting students graduate against school policy, which makes him no better. He certainly has lost a lot of respect, judging by the backing he got when he resigned. He has certainly lost my respect. I suppose integrity is a thing of the past. Why not let the ones that didn't meet the attendance standard graduate in a smaller, less formal ceremony instead of with the ones that did as they were supposed to?

Sounds like the ceremony was

Sounds like the ceremony was about the drama at West, should have been all about the graduates.

Graduation Day

It wasn't just the soap opera that played out on stage, so many in the crowd just acted like idiots as well. It was sad.

They don't put as much

They don't put as much emphasis on the students as they should. They give a lot of pomp and circumstance to the superintendent and school board. Last year Ahrens gave the teachers all the praise for the students getting where they were. I guess the thirteen years of work that the students put in didn't count for anything.