Clayton School Superintendent Wants His Name on Diplomas

Late last week, Clayton County’s roughly 2,600 new high school graduates learned they would not receive a diploma during this last weekend’s commencement ceremonies at the Georgia World Congress Center. They walked across the stage and received empty diploma folders because Corrective Superintendent John Thompson was upset they contained the name and signature of former Interim Superintendent Gloria Duncan, not Thompson’s.

By Monday, Thompson was alleging that the diplomas were, in fact, not legally valid. “I felt as the superintendent of the school system, I had to do what is right and not hand out the diplomas,” Thompson said. “These students have fought through three or four superintendents, so I thought it was fair to honor them with a diploma that is correct. What does it matter if it costs $25,000, $50,000, or $1 million, if you are providing children with something that will last for a lifetime? If wanting to do the right thing for the children is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.”

The new diplomas were ordered, with additional expense paid for postage. The students can now “choose” which diploma they want.

[UPDATE: 4 June 2008] As expected daily down there, now there is an ethics complaint against Thompson. Indeed, the Ethics in Government Group asked the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which oversees teacher certification, to investigate superintendent John Thompson.

Unfortunately, there’s a catch: “Cassandra Moore, of the professional standards commission, said the state has no jurisdiction over Thompson because he has not received his certification to teach in Georgia. She said the commission likely will not take any action until Thompson completes his certification application.”

11 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    “If wanting to do the right thing for the children is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.””

    (singing) If screwing the county schools out of $50,000 is wrong, I don’t wanna be right…If continuing to demonstrate how utterly incompetent the school board is is wrong in hiring qualified superintendents is wrong, I don’t wanna be right…

  2. Bill Simon says:

    2nd verse is:If continuing to demonstrate how utterly incompetent the school board is in hiring qualified superintendents is wrong, I don’t wanna be right…

  3. Romegaguy says:

    The diplomas would be worth more if they could remove the “Clayton County” off of it too. I’ll send them a bottle of white out

  4. Romegaguy says:

    I’m sorry. I meant to say a bottle of watered down paint used as a corrective fluid…

  5. Bill Greene says:

    I thought “it’s for the children” was a parody. Good heavens, this man took it seriously. What a maroon. I hope his quote of “What does it matter if it costs $25,000, $50,000, or $1 million” is constantly brought before the taxpayers eyes, even more than we’re seeing McCain’s “100, 1000, 1 million years” quote in MoveOn ads.

  6. Chris says:

    Well, if MoveOn is claiming that under McCain we’ll be in Baghdad for 100 to 1 million years, they’ve pretty much debunked their theory that ocean levels are going to rise hundreds of feet.

  7. Lee Benedict says:

    What in the name of hell’s bathroom is this “Super’s” problem? My hypothesis is his ego.

    In any event, this guy must be a bit touched by the gods if he thinks a signature other than his own on a diploma will invalidate it…it makes no difference – the Registrar or Guidance Department must stamp the student’s transcript in order to be considered a graduate.

    John Thompson’s signature has no weight whatsoever; anyone can print a diploma, but it doesn’t mean s/he is a graduate

  8. shep1975 says:

    Hey, at least his name will be on one set of diplomas that will be worth something. He’ll b able to put on his resume how he had the system accredited for his first graduation.

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