After a parent for a deceased Freedom High School student took to social media saying Freedom High School would not allow their request to let Justin Roper’s sister accept his diploma, the community became involved.
The post was shared 250-times and re-posted into several groups regarding the policy of the Liberty Union High School District.
Volta said late Thursday that they have reversed 15 years of a policy that had served them well, however, in an era where kindness has given way to confrontation, we have a small opportunity to possibly help three (this year) families out during a difficult time.
Here is the full exchanges and context:
A family friend of mine tragically lost her son recently. He was a senior at Freedom and he died at the school, on the basketball courts. Superintendent Eric Volta has refused the family’s request to let Justin’s sister accept his diploma at this weekend’s graduation, in his memory. I strongly feel that this is the wrong decision, and that he needs to reconsider. His excuse was that it hasn’t been done before- as someone who lost friends while attending Freedom, I think it would have been so comforting to see them honored in this way at our graduation.
I’m asking, if you can, to please email Volta and ask him to reconsider his decision. No parent should have to live through what Shannon Roper is living through now. I remember when Justin was born, I remember how it felt to be in that school when Kyle died, and I remember Volta. Please take a quick second to email him at *EMAIL REMOVED* and tell him he needs to let the family be involved in the ceremony that should have been Justin’s. Thank you all
***UPDATE***Y’all, we did it!! Justin’s sister will be walking in his place!! From his momma, Shannon Roper: “Thank you all for the comments and the support..My daughter is walking for my son. This means everything to us.”
Thank you to each and every friend and stranger that shared my post, emailed Volta, or reached out in any way. Love does big things
Eric Volta, Superintendent of Liberty Union High School District issued the following statement to staff this afternoon:
In an effort to be compassionate, and practice what I preach (my graduation comments). For Seniors that have passed away we will offer honorary diplomas. A family member from the VIP section may join the line of graduates coming to the podium and receive their honorary diploma from our Board and then return to the VIP section. This breaks 15 years of a policy that has served us well, however, in an era where kindness has given way to confrontation, we have a small opportunity to possibly help three (this year) families out during a difficult time.
Eric L. Volta
Superintendent, Liberty Union High School District