DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – There is a happy ending to a Dublin Scioto family’s struggle to see their daughter with autism walk at graduation with her twin brother.
18-year-old Jordan Kate Moore enrolled at Applied Behavior Services her senior year to focus on academics. She was told she would qualify for a “social diploma” at Dublin Scioto once her ABS credits transferred over, but a month later all of that changed.
Thom and Cindy Moore say all they wanted for their youngest daughter was a chance to walk with her friends and brother at graduation. Last week, the family was told that was no longer an option.
But then a Change.org petition was created and gained nearly 7,000 signatures.
“We are so proud of both our kids, but especially Jordan Kate. She has worked so hard. We, I couldn’t be more proud of her,” says Jordan Kate’s mom Cindy Moore.
Jordan Kate and her twin brother Luke grew up in Dublin Schools. For her senior year Jordan Kate enrolled at Applied Behavior Science so she could get her reading comprehension up and qualify for a special program at Columbus State Community College.
“She wants to be a teacher’s aide and our son wants to be a teacher,” says Cindy.
Luke and Jordan Kate Moore’s senior photos
Luke and Jordan Kate Moore’s senior photos x
The family applied for a “Social Diploma” to let Jordan Kate walk and hear her name at graduation. They were told all they needed was a couple more credits and Jordan Kate would qualify.
“If ABS were to provide those credits we would look at those and make sure that they meet our criteria and grant her that credit,” says Dublin Scioto Assistant Principal Dan Morris on a voice mail left on Cindy’s cell phone.
But a month later, Dublin Schools said ABS was considered home schooling and Jordan Kate couldn’t walk after all.
“We would not have an issue at all if it wasn’t for the fact that they said this is what you have to do, if you do this then she can do it,” says Cindy.
This Change.org petition supporting Jordan Kate’s walk at graduation gathered more than 6,500 signatures in 5 days. But the District held firm.
Jordan Kate could only walk if she gave up her year-round autism scholarship to ABS and re-enrolled at Dublin Scioto.
Tuesday afternoon, the District changed its mind. NBC4 spoke to Cindy Moore again she met with school officials.
“I am in shock and excited,” says Cindy. “Kelly Barbour and Dan Morris from Dublin Schools just left our house and they presented an idea that Jordan Kate can walk with her brother, with Luke.”
The district agreed to a proposal similar to the one suggested by Jordan Kate’s father. She will wear a gown, but not a cap or tassel. Her name will be read and she will walk across the stage with her brother as he receives his diploma.
Dublin Scioto’s graduation is Saturday, June 4 at 1 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
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