Parents, students question ‘senior dues' spending at Tucker High School

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Some students at Tucker High School question how money raised for the senior class is being spent.

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The graduation gowns cost the same amount last year, but there is a huge difference in price. Students and parents are asking for accountability.

"Students want to know where their senior dues are going," said mother Lakeisha Finney.

Finney said she shelled out about $250 for “senior dues.” That is money which was earmarked for a list of planned activities, graduation, as well as cap and gown. The problem is, she said, very few of those activities have happened.

"There was supposed to be a senior dinner last Friday, that was canceled, no real reason why. Nothing [was] planned in place of it and we are still waiting to hear news to changes of any activities," said Finney.

Multiple the dues by a graduating class of more than 300 students and those fees turn into big money.

"The numbers aren't adding up. If it is a matter of things costing more than expected that is one thing, but talk to us," said Finney.

"Things that were promised to us, it wasn't granted," said senior Sydney Severin.

Severin said activities have been far less than promised and answers have been hard to come by.

"Parents are getting shut down, students are not getting any answers, it is like we are at a crossroads, we are getting shut down and it is very frustrating," said Severin.

Then there is the matter of the caps and gowns. Students created a side-by-side photo of the gowns from previous years comparing it to this year's version.

"What is this? One, it is not the color of our school. And last year, they had the gold stripes and the paw. And we didn't have any of that," said Severin.

DeKalb County Schools issued a statement which reads:

“Tucker High School’s administration has worked diligently in satisfying issues relating to the senior class of 2019.

“Last year, Tucker High School received numerous complaints regarding the high costs associated with senior dues. In an effort to address these complaints, Tucker High School switched vendors relating to caps and gowns. After seeing the new vendor products, Tucker High School administrators and students worked together to decide on working toward a product similar to last year’s cap and gowns.

“Tucker High School had two events that were canceled in a shared decision-making process with the senior class officers.  While those events were canceled, the collected funds were used for additional activities.

“The Tucker High School principal will meet with any student or parent who has questions about the senior dues and how the money was reallocated. He has had numerous conversations with students and continues to engage with them on a regular basis as issues arise.

“There has been no mismanagement or misappropriation of funds. No investigation is underway. In an effort to promote transparency, we have attached a list of senior activities for the year.”


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