School district won't let sick teen graduate early - WFSB 3 Connecticut

School district won't let sick teen graduate early

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School district won't let sick teen graduate early (CNN) School district won't let sick teen graduate early (CNN)
(CNN) -

A teenager fought four years of high school while battling a life-threatening illness.

Now, just one class stands between the Texas teen and graduating with her friends.

For teens who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis, there is no guarantee that they will make it to graduation, but Victoria McKennon dreamt that she could.

"I've had this entire ceremony thought of in mind, at the big place and all my friends walking on stage, and then after you get off, you're like, whoa I'm done with high school. This is great,” McKennon said.

You wouldn't know it from looking at the strong-willed 17-year-old senior at Plano Senior High School, but she has been very ill for most of her life.

She has spent a lot of time out of the classroom and in hospitals, but she said she has managed to catch up on most of her work and expects to graduate after making up one class this summer session.

"I don't know how long Victoria is going to live. Of course we always aim for the moon, the sky, and the stars, but in reality her life span is limited, and so every experience is very important for her,” said Victoria's mom Grace McKennon.

That is why Victoria and her family asked the school to let her walk on stage at the commencement ceremony in June, not to get her diploma early but to be with her friends for all of the pomp and circumstance.

The school declined, referring to their police which states “to be eligible to participate in commencement activities and ceremonies, all students shall meet all state and local graduation requirements.”

A smaller ceremony is available after summer school, but Victoria and her family said it isn't the same.

"I think it would mean to me that she's persevered through all her trials, that nobody can really know this and see what she's been through other than our family,” said Grace McKennon.

Victoria added, “"Because I've wanted to be a normal kid for so long now, and this is like almost like the definition of being a normal kid, like your senior year, you get to walk the stage. I've been looking forward to it for so long."

The McKennon family has filed a complaint with the education department's civil rights office and they are hoping the district will reconsider before graduation.

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