School Denies Graduation To Cancer Patient

A high school in Woodland California is at the center of a controversy involving the graduation of a student with cancer.

The facts are fairly straightforward. 18 year old Lenna Elizalde is a senior at Woodland High School and has been fighting cancer for the last six months. She has undergone two surgeries along with extensive chemotherapy since her diagnosis.

This has caused her to miss a number of classes during her hospital stays. Most teachers understood the problem and gave her extra credit projects and allowed her make up missed tests. But one teacher would not do so and as a result she is one English class credit short of graduation.

This means she will have to take the class over the summer, which is fairly standard procedure for people who are behind on their credits. However given the unusual circumstances it has been suggested that she be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies and be given recognition for her battle with cancer.

However the school district has refused to bend the rules, saying that if she does not have the credits she can’t graduate in any way.

Now anyone who knows me is aware that I am pretty much a stickler for the rules, but there are some times when humanity needs to take a front seat. Nobody is asking for her to be excused from taking the class, and they are not asking that she be given a diploma before she earns it. All they are saying is that under the circumstances she ought to be given the right to participate in the ceremonies.

I think she has more than earned the right, and can only hope the public outcry will result in a change in plans.

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

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