182 students will graduate from Blair High School on Sunday. The graduating seniors want to remember one classmate, Trent Hill who died in a car accident as a sophomore in 2014. Students asked school officials if they could remember Hill by having an empty chair among the graduates.
The students were told there is a school policy that prohibits memorial activates taking place during graduation or awards ceremonies. Students then started a petition drive and collected 250 signatures to get that policy changed but as of now the rule stands.
Some of the students suggested leaving a chair empty and having other students share a seat. Hannah Clarey is a senior and says they warned not to do that.
Clarey says, “We’d have to get everyone to shift. It would have to be our whole class deciding as one to be able to do it. We are threatened so much with not being able to graduate, not being able to get our diploma we can’t do anything.” She goes on to say they want the policy changed for their class and every class in the future as a special way to remember kids.
Students are holding a peaceful rally outside the school this afternoon in an effort to get school administrators to change their mind.
An alum at Blair High School says this hasn’t always been a policy. She graduated in 1995 and they were allowed to leave several chairs empty for students who had passed away prior to graduation.