Enfield student who died of cancer to receive honorary diploma - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Enfield student who died of cancer to receive honorary diploma

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Jacob Carlander, who died of liver cancer, will receive an honorary diploma on Thursday. (WFSB/family photos) Jacob Carlander, who died of liver cancer, will receive an honorary diploma on Thursday. (WFSB/family photos)
ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

A student who died of cancer will receive an honorary diploma from his high school in Enfield.

Jacob Carlander was diagnosed with liver cancer six years ago.

That didn't stop him from attending classes at Enrico Fermi High School. However, he passed away just before the start of this past academic year.

His mother, Annkera Carlander, tried to fulfill her son's wish for a diploma.

She said she was initially rejected because what she asked for was unprecedented.

However, Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann said the Board of Education was in last-minute discussions to make it happen.

"There wasn't enough time to make policy for this particular situation so what the board decided to do was just do it. Do the right thing," Schumann said.

Wednesday, Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin confirmed to Eyewitness News that Jacob Carlander would receive his honorary diploma.

Kaupin said the family would be contacted on Wednesday.

Fermi's graduation is set for Thursday and the Carlander family will be there, sitting behind the graduates and a board member will introduce and honor Jacob, and his family will accept the diploma on his behalf.

"He'd probably be like, 'mom, why are you making a big deal,' because he didn't like the attention, but he deserves the attention tomorrow," Annkera Carlander said, adding that she will be the proudest mom at the ceremony.

The Board of Education will meet later this summer to put a policy in place, should a situation like this one ever arise again.

This wasn't the first time the state saw a potential diploma denial.

The family of Edmund Conklin, a teen killed in a Shelton crash in February, fought to change the minds of Board of Education members.

The Shelton board initially denied the request. After a rigorous social media campaign and a private meeting between Conklin's mother, the superintendent and mayor, Conklin was granted the honorary diploma earlier this month.

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    Tuesday, June 21 2016 5:55 PM EDT2016-06-21 21:55:51 GMT
    Jacob Carlander was diagnosed with liver cancer six years ago. (Family photo)Jacob Carlander was diagnosed with liver cancer six years ago. (Family photo)

    One of his final wishes was to get a high school diploma, but a cancer-stricken student at Enfield's Fermi High School died just before the school year started.

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    One of his final wishes was to get a high school diploma, but a cancer-stricken student at Enfield's Fermi High School died just before the school year started.

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