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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest2020

    What was his beef with Dragon club?

  • Joe

    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.

  • Guest2020

    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.

  • taxpayer

    “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.

  • Free at last

    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

  • Rick Wilson

    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.

  • Gina

    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.

  • 1% and proud of it!

    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!

  • JTH 87

    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.

  • Gina

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

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