South Dakota girl with cancer prevented from graduating

In this May 23, 2017 photo, Laura Polanco and daughter, Meredith Erck comfort each other while recalling months of fighting Erck's brain tumor while she tried to complete her high school course work in Rapid City, S.D. Erck is six credits short of earning her Rapid City Central high school diploma, and although she will finish them over the summer, is not being allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony with her twin brother, Martin. (Hannah Hunsinger/Rapid City Journal via AP)

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A western South Dakota high school won’t allow a student who has brain cancer to walk at graduation because she is six credits short of being able to officially graduate.

The Rapid City Journal reports 17-year-old Meredith Erck wasn’t sure whether she would live to see graduation day.

The Central High School student had colon cancer before she was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015. Between surgeries and recovery, she couldn’t complete all of her classes on time.

Rapid City school district officials said in a statement that her participation without credit completion “diminishes the accomplishments of the graduates.”

Meredith is expected to finish her remaining credits before the end of the next academic year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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