School board won't provide honorary diploma at graduation for te - WFSB 3 Connecticut

School board won't provide honorary diploma at graduation for teen killed in crash

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Edmund Conklin. (Shelton schools photo) Edmund Conklin. (Shelton schools photo)

When 17-year-old Shelton High School senior Eddy Conklin died in a car wreck in February, a cold reality set in for his family.

“I will never be able to hold my son or love him or kiss him,” Eddy’s mom Barbara Conklin said.

She and Eddy’s father Ed figured the best way to honor Eddy would be to attend Shelton’s graduation this year and receive Eddy’s honorary diploma.

“Closure for our family. It represents all the work our son has done throughout the year,” Ed Conklin said.

The school board decided not to allow the Conklin’s to pick up Eddy’s diploma at graduation, or even for his name to be called during the ceremony.

School board Chair Mark Holden said giving Eddy’s family a diploma at the graduation would set a bad precedent.

Despite dozens of passionate pleas at a meeting on Wednesday, the school board stood firm.

Even after public comment, Holden called the meeting “fun-filled.”

The board members did not indicate that they will change their mind on the issue, but despite the cold realities they are dealing with, Eddy’s parents vow to keep fighting. They just hope their son would be proud.

“He told me he would take care of me no matter what and I believe from all the signs that I have gotten that he is standing behind me,” Barbara Conklin said.

On June 10, Eddy’s former classmates will graduate.

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