Straight-A student faced possibility of not graduating over torn textbook

Either pay $90 or you won't get to go to prom or graduate! That's what one high school senior in Katy says he was faced with all over a textbook.

Either pay $90 or you won't get to go to prom or graduate! That's what one high school senior in Katy says he was faced with all over a textbook.

His mother contacted KHOU 11 News saying Morton Ranch High School was being unreasonable with her straight-A-student son.

The controversy is all over the condition of a pre-calculus textbook that senior Zach Barrett tried to return to the bookkeeper on Monday in an effort to get ahead before graduation.

"She takes a look at the book, and she says, 'I'm sorry. We cannot accept this book,'" Barrett said, adding the bookkeeper didn't stop there. "And if I did not pay the $90 for the book, that I would not be able to graduate."

Zach Barrett said, according to the bookkeeper, it was all because the book was not in good shape.

"Honestly, a book is supposed to be used," said Mary Barrett, Zach's mother. "There is wear and tear in a book, and it shouldn't have been that way."

Katy ISD tells KHOU 11 News the district's policy doesn't allow students to buy tickets to various events if they owe school money.

But they admit the bookkeeper could have handled the situation better, especially considering his excellent academic record and the minor damage to the book.

"For me, to be crying about a book, I'm sorry I'm laughing right now, but I've never heard of this," Mary Barrett said. "It just doesn't make sense to me."

Late Thursday, Katy ISD sent KHOU 11 News the following statement:

"Students who successfully complete all high school requirements are eligible to receive a diploma per state law. Unfortunately, an employee provided a student incomplete information yesterday concerning graduation requirements-- leading the student to believe that he would not receive his paper diploma. [Wednesday] the student’s parent informed the school of the miscommunication provided to her son. Since [Wednesday], the school had made several attempts to contact the parent to inform her that her son would in fact receive a diploma. However, it wasn't until [Thursday] that a response was received to the school's outreach.  We believe the matter has been resolved at this time, as her son will receive a diploma upon meeting all graduation requirements per Texas education code."

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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