Blair HS principal won't let students honor deceased friend at graduation
BLAIR, Neb. (FOX42KPTM) —
Students say it's a simple memorial at their high school graduation.
They want to leave an open seat to honor a classmate who died in a car wreck, but now, they say that won't happen.
"I've known him since he was 5 years old,” said Nathan Zeimet, of his friend Trent Hill.
Sunday would've been the day Hill graduated.
He was a member of the Blair High School Class of 2017 until he died three years ago in a car wreck.
Since he's not, some students want to honor him.
"It was mainly for us,” Zeimet said. “We didn't ask for a big speech or banners with his name, we just wanted a seat out for him."
He and his friends asked their principal to leave a seat open for hill at the graduation
"We assumed it would just happen because it just seemed like the right thing to do but he said ‘no.’"
That's when the students started a petition in hopes it would change the principal's mind.
"They still denied us on two different occasions," Zeimet said.
They got more than 200 signatures.
"There are consistent on no letting us do it."
Blair High School's principal didn't want to talk on camera, but he sent a statement that said:
“While this is a time of celebration, we understand that it also can be a difficult time for some who have experienced the loss of loved ones in recent years.... Examples of recent memorials include wearing memorial ribbons...releasing balloons.... And presenting a plant to the family after the ceremony."
McDonald said, "It's hard to look up to the school administrators when they teach us to do the right thing--and when we do it we are in the wrong. He definitely deserves this."
The students told FOX 42 leaving a seat open is bigger than just their friend Hill.
They would hope this could be something that lives on at the school if there was another tragedy happened like this.
Students are now hoping their friend will be remembered somehow at this Sunday’s graduation.