SHELTON, Conn. — An online petition calling for Shelton school officials to present a diploma at graduation to the parents of a senior who died in a car accident has drawn nearly 4,000 signatures.
The petition, started by Peggy Woods, is titled, "Eddy Conklin honorary diploma to be received at graduation."
Edmund "Eddy" Conklin, 17, who was killed in a rollover crash on Bridgeport Avenue, was a senior and star basketball player at Shelton High and planned to study biomedical engineering in college. He was on track to graduate this June.
"His parents have been working with the Superintendent, Board of Ed and Head Master since March 18th for Eddy to receive an honorary diploma in his name, handed to a family member, AT GRADUATION along with the rest of his 2016 classmates," the petition says.
"The family has been told that this would not happen. They have been given the run-around on this issue since March. They have supplied the BOE with other towns and facts to support their wishes for the honorary diploma and his name called with his fellow classmates during graduation," the petition says in part.
The Shelton Board of Education has offered to award the diploma to the family at a separate event, the petition says.
"Sometimes we need to put politics and policy aside and do what is right. Setting a precedent to honor someone's child will never be the wrong thing to do," it says.
The comments on the Change.org petition support the move.
"Let these parents have what they want. Ed was a great student and friend!!!" posted Dawn Carmelo of Shelton.
"I'm signing because it's not that hard to be a human. Love and miss you Ed," says a post from Kevin Robinson.
"I am signing as a mother of a Class of 2016 graduate who knows the ceremony is very important to family. If it were my child, I would want to be there," says a post from Kate Oslan.
"The Shelton Board of Education needs to do the right, compassionate thing and allow Ed's parents to receive his degree at graduation so they can have closure," says Diane Turco.
Click here to see the petition at Change.org.
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