There are good arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. Rapid City Schools opt for standards over sympathy.

Here are the facts laid out by the Rapid City Journal. Meredith Erck has been through a lot in her seventeen years. Two brushes with cancer (colon and brain), multiple surgeries and extensive recovery periods prevented her from completing the academic requirements as mandated by the State of South Dakota to graduate from high school.

Erck’s mother petitioned the district to symbolically have Erck walk across the stage to be recognized alongside her twin brother who is by all accounts a healthy young man. The school district turned down the request because of worries about setting a dangerous precedent.

It is a reasonable request. A young woman who has been on an operating table multiple times and overcome incredible odds just to get to graduation day at Central High should be lifted up and recognized for her effort.

The Rapid City Area Schools has a stake in this as well. Call them every name in the book if you want. However, Erck did not do what was required to join her brother and other graduates by the end of this school year. In fact, Erck could cross the stage one year from now by completing six more credits and if no further complications arise.

Should we give someone an emotional moment because of sheer will to live? By allowing the moment do we diminish actual achievement?

Maybe you have the answer.


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