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Shelton Mayor Blasts School Board For Denying Diploma At Graduation

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti
Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti Photo Credit: File

SHELTON, Conn. — Mayor Mark Lauretti is blasting the city's Board of Education for refusing to present an honorary diploma at Shelton High School's graduation to the parents of a senior who died in a car crash in February, the Connecticut Post said.

At least four sets of parents in similar circumstances in past 25 years in Shelton have received diplomas at graduation, Lauretti told the Connecticut Post.

Of the school board's decision, the mayor said he "couldn’t disagree with them more," calling the the outcome "just wrong," the Post said.

The parents of Edmund "Eddy" Conklin, 17, has requested that his name be read at the graduation ceremony June 10 and that they receive an honorary diploma.

But school board Chairman Mark Holden has said that since 1980, only two of the 17 students who died before their graduations received posthumous diplomas at commencement and a third student's family received a diploma at home.

The board has decided to award the family an honorary diploma at the Senior Awards Ceremony and hold a moment of silence at graduation for Conklin and Kristjan Ndoj, another class member who died in 2014.

An online petition at Change.org calling for Shelton school officials to present a diploma at graduation has drawn over 8,000 signatures.

"The family has ... 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.

"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.

Conklin was a star basketball player at Shelton High and was only one course shy of his graduation requirements. He died early Feb. 28 in a rollover crash on Bridgeport Avenue.

Click here to read the story at the Connecticut Post.

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