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School District Reverses Decision to Exclude Student Who Died of Cancer from Graduation

A school district in Utah has reversed its decision to exclude a student who passed away from cancer from participating in the graduation ceremony. The initial decision sparked outrage within the community, leading to a reversal just six days later.

The Heartbreaking Story of Samantha ‘Mantha’ Corey

Samantha ‘Mantha’ Corey was an 18-year-old senior at American Fork High School. She was battling rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of soft tissue cancer that often affects children. Tragically, Mantha passed away three months before she was due to graduate. Despite meeting all the requirements for graduation, the school initially decided not to include her in the ceremony.

Mantha was a “fighter” who was determined to finish high school despite her diagnosis and [email protected] / Instagram

Community Outrage and Reversal

The decision not to honor Mantha posthumously ignited fury among the community members. Many felt it was unjust to exclude her from the ceremony, given her academic achievements and the bravery she showed during her illness. After significant backlash and a board meeting where community members demanded a reversal, the school district decided to include Mantha in the graduation ceremony.

A Milestone Achieved

Mantha’s mother, Kimberly Corey, shared her mixed emotions with the New York Post. “This is a milestone that we were hoping with her medical team that she could make it to – after she started relapsing, we were really hoping she could make it through graduation,” she said. Kimberly emphasized how close Mantha had come to achieving this milestone, and how important it was for the family to celebrate her accomplishments.

District officials initially told the family it would violate policy to memorialize Mantha at [email protected] / Instagram

Honoring Mantha’s Memory

With the school district’s reversal, Mantha will now be recognized at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 22, at the Marriott Center in Provo. Her siblings will walk across the stage to collect her diploma on her behalf. Initially, the decision to exclude her also meant she wouldn’t have appeared in the high school yearbook or had her name read out during the ceremony.

Policy and Its Implications

The Alpine School District cited a new policy as the reason for the initial exclusion. This policy aimed to prevent staff and students from feeling pressured to participate in a memorial. However, the overwhelming response from the community highlighted the importance of recognizing Mantha’s contributions and the impact she had on her classmates and teachers.

Community Support and Reflections

The district acknowledged the community’s sentiments in a statement: “Samantha was loved by her classmates, teachers, and school staff. She will be recognized at the school’s graduation ceremony. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of Samantha and all of our other remarkable students who have achieved so much.”

Mantha Corey lost her two-year battle with cancer just three months before she was set to walk the graduation stage.Utah Valley Funeral Home

Kimberly Corey expressed her relief and satisfaction with the decision: “I think this is just the icing on the cake that we were able to do this. I don’t think she would want us to fight and yell and get angry. She’s just like a happy, sweet, fly-under-the-radar kind of gal.”

A Community United in Grief and Celebration

The story of Samantha Corey’s posthumous graduation is a testament to the power of community advocacy and the importance of honoring the memories of those we have lost. It underscores how a collective voice can bring about change and ensure that the accomplishments and struggles of individuals like Mantha are recognized and celebrated. As the community gathers to honor their graduates, Samantha’s legacy will be remembered, providing a source of inspiration and a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

  • Family, NEWS

    School District Reverses Decision to Exclude Student Who Died of Cancer from Graduation

    A school district in Utah has reversed its decision to exclude a student who passed away from cancer from participating in the graduation ceremony. The initial decision sparked outrage within the community, leading to a reversal just six days later.

    The Heartbreaking Story of Samantha ‘Mantha’ Corey

    Samantha ‘Mantha’ Corey was an 18-year-old senior at American Fork High School. She was battling rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of soft tissue cancer that often affects children. Tragically, Mantha passed away three months before she was due to graduate. Despite meeting all the requirements for graduation, the school initially decided not to include her in the ceremony.

    Mantha was a “fighter” who was determined to finish high school despite her diagnosis and [email protected] / Instagram

    Community Outrage and Reversal

    The decision not to honor Mantha posthumously ignited fury among the community members. Many felt it was unjust to exclude her from the ceremony, given her academic achievements and the bravery she showed during her illness. After significant backlash and a board meeting where community members demanded a reversal, the school district decided to include Mantha in the graduation ceremony.

    A Milestone Achieved

    Mantha’s mother, Kimberly Corey, shared her mixed emotions with the New York Post. “This is a milestone that we were hoping with her medical team that she could make it to – after she started relapsing, we were really hoping she could make it through graduation,” she said. Kimberly emphasized how close Mantha had come to achieving this milestone, and how important it was for the family to celebrate her accomplishments.

    District officials initially told the family it would violate policy to memorialize Mantha at [email protected] / Instagram

    Honoring Mantha’s Memory

    With the school district’s reversal, Mantha will now be recognized at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 22, at the Marriott Center in Provo. Her siblings will walk across the stage to collect her diploma on her behalf. Initially, the decision to exclude her also meant she wouldn’t have appeared in the high school yearbook or had her name read out during the ceremony.

    Policy and Its Implications

    The Alpine School District cited a new policy as the reason for the initial exclusion. This policy aimed to prevent staff and students from feeling pressured to participate in a memorial. However, the overwhelming response from the community highlighted the importance of recognizing Mantha’s contributions and the impact she had on her classmates and teachers.

    Community Support and Reflections

    The district acknowledged the community’s sentiments in a statement: “Samantha was loved by her classmates, teachers, and school staff. She will be recognized at the school’s graduation ceremony. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of Samantha and all of our other remarkable students who have achieved so much.”

    Mantha Corey lost her two-year battle with cancer just three months before she was set to walk the graduation stage.Utah Valley Funeral Home

    Kimberly Corey expressed her relief and satisfaction with the decision: “I think this is just the icing on the cake that we were able to do this. I don’t think she would want us to fight and yell and get angry. She’s just like a happy, sweet, fly-under-the-radar kind of gal.”

    A Community United in Grief and Celebration

    The story of Samantha Corey’s posthumous graduation is a testament to the power of community advocacy and the importance of honoring the memories of those we have lost. It underscores how a collective voice can bring about change and ensure that the accomplishments and struggles of individuals like Mantha are recognized and celebrated. As the community gathers to honor their graduates, Samantha’s legacy will be remembered, providing a source of inspiration and a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.