William G. Enloe Magnet High School in North Carolina is facing backlash from its student body as well as some parents for a very controversial decision involving one of the school's deceased students.
17-year-old student Rachel Rosoff passed away last September after she was electrocuted and drowned while on duty at Heritage Point Pool as a lifeguard.
The teen was headed into her senior year at the time of her death and would've been part of the graduating class of 2017.
Since Rachel would never have the chance to attend her graduation ceremony, her friends and family requested that the school acknowledge her memory during the event. However, their request was denied.
In an email to Rachel's mom, Michelle, Principal Chavis wrote that the school refrains from memorials at the ceremony because "Graduation is meant to be a ceremony for students’ accomplishments and a celebration thereof, we want to ensure that the ceremony maintains a happy, vibrant feel.”
He added that if the deceased is brought up it may cause students to "react in ways that would take trained professionals (i.e. counselors) to support.” A claim which Rachel's mom, a therapist, said is simply not true.
The bereaved mom shared the "disheartening" email on Facebook and her sister, Jordana started a petition in hopes that the school would reverse its decision.
"They feel it may cause sadness and bring people down on a day that is suppose to be celebratory," Jordana wrote on the petition page. "They want to pretend she did not exist, which not only hurts me, but my family and her friends. I just want my sister to be recognized and acknowledged for the beautiful, goofy, funny, carefree, caring person she was."
Find out what happened after the school caught wind of this petition on the next page.