Blue Ridge High School senior Haley Coker sits in the front row at Furman's Timmons Arena during her school's graduation ceremony. (June, 5, 2013/FOX Carolina)
Blue Ridge High seniors walk across the stage while Coker stands in the front row of the crowd. (June, 5, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Though the campaign went viral Wednesday, a Blue Ridge senior did not get the chance to walk during her high school graduation.
The social media campaign started when BRHS senior Haley Coker was told she could not walk during her school's graduation ceremony at Timmons Arena on Wednesday because she missed the practice.
Coker sent FOX Carolina a Facebook message saying she missed her school's second practice because she had the times wrong, though she said the made the first.
But according to Greenville County Schools' policy, students are required to participate in practices in order to walk at graduation.
Ultimately, Coker sat in the front row decked in her cap and gown watching her classmates walk across the stage during Blue Ridge's ceremony on Wednesday. When her name was read out loud to get her diploma, a teacher walked over and gave it to her.
Greenville County Schools spokesperson Oby Lyles issued the following statement on behalf of the district regarding students walking, or not walking, at graduation:
"Graduations are for the benefit of all students and their families and guests. It is important that all seniors participate in graduation practices to ensure an organized and timely ceremony.
"Rules to participate in graduation are communicated multiple times with seniors. These rules are common and accepted practice for high schools across the state.
"Students are required to participate in practices to 'walk' in graduation. Principals want seniors to participate and can and do make exceptions for special circumstances for legitimate reasons for missing a practice. For example, a student could call during rehearsal so his/her participation can be planned.
"Parents can appeal a principal's decision to the assistant superintendent for high schools or, if not available, to the superintendent's designee."
Lyles did not say how many other students are not walking during their respective school's ceremonies this week.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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