I hate to tell you but they will not hold him back even if you ask. The No Child Left Behind act has the upper hand in this. Children can now fail all classes and still be moved on to the next grade.
You would have to have a conference with the school board and the teacher and the principal and a lot of other people and convince them that he needs to be held back. Did he do this in Elementary School? Sometimes Middle School is hard for them to adjust to.
My son is homeschooled now but will be going to junior high next year for 9th grade and this is not really where I want him. But I just found out they may be doing some redistricting and he may get to go to the High School next year which makes me fell much better. Patti