Local News

Son Promoted To High School, But Did Not Attend Class, Parent Says

Posted June 10, 2005

— A family in Wake Forest says its son was promoted to the next grade by passing classes he never attended.

Last fall, 15-year-old Joseph Veltrie was suspended from Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School for allegedly having marijuana. The charge was later thrown out in court, but the suspension continued.

According to a plan the school set up, Joseph was supposed to get four hours of tutoring a week for the remainder of the school year -- a total of nearly 100 hours.

Joseph's mother, Susan Veltrie, says he barely received a fraction of that -- two months of math tutoring and a handful of sessions in social studies and English. On more than a dozen occasions, Veltrie says the tutor never came.

"I felt a little bit disappointed that she didn't show up," Veltrie said. "I said Joseph is not getting any schooling at all. Nothing. I said I want something done about this."

This week, Veltrie received a letter saying the tutoring was complete. She also received a report card with passing grades for classes her son never completed, as well as a written note to promote him to the next grade.

"He had a B in third quarter, B in fourth quarter, B for his final grade," Veltrie said, but he did not go to school.

Veltrie says she called and repeatedly visited the school to find out what was going on and never got any solid answers.

Even though Joseph did take and pass his end-of-grade tests, Veltrie says her son is not ready to go to high school. She says the test should not be the benchmark for promoting a child. They would like the school district to make good on its promise to provide the tutoring.

Neither the school's principal nor school system officials will talk about the issue. They say they cannot talk about cases involving a specific student.

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