Parent challenges North Carolina school’s decision that son won’t walk at graduation

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A Wake County high school senior will not be allowed to walk in graduation this weekend, and now his mother is calling on school leaders to reverse course.

Georgia Rivera says her son, Jon-Carlo Rivera, a senior at Middle Creek High School, will not be allowed to walk because he did not attend the rehearsal.

“I was heartbroken because I knew my son was really looking forward to this, and we were looking forward to this for a long time,” she said.

In an online petition that’s garnered nearly 5,000 signatures, Rivera claims her son missed the run-through because he forgot he was given a paper reminding seniors about the rehearsal.

She says he forgot because he’s suffered from memory issues since getting into a car accident last month and also has attention deficit disorder.

“It was never an intentional thing,” said Rivera. “He’s a good kid and he deserves to be recognized.”

Lisa Luten, a spokesperson for the Wake County School District, says all Wake County seniors are required to attend graduation rehearsal, and that the requirement is communicated to parents and students multiple times throughout the course of the school year.

“All seniors must attend graduation rehearsal before attending graduation,” said Luten. “This is a strict requirement. Graduation is a complex ceremony, and requires that all the students participating understand what they are doing, where they are sitting and what is expected of them.”

There are exceptions for students with disabilities, but Luten says none were requested for Rivera’s son. School district records show notifications about graduation rehearsal were delivered by mail and email to the Riveras, according to Luten.

Luten claims other students at Middle Creek High School also missed graduation rehearsal and they will not be allowed to walk during graduation this weekend.

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