Thursday, June 05, 2008

Leanna Elizalde, a student with cancer, isn't being allowed to walk the stage at High School Graduation

I can't write a whole lot about this right now but I HAD to say something. This is just too ridiculous. A few months ago, a high school senior named Leanna Elizalde was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma called Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath cancer. She had to interrupt her average teenaged life and suddenly deal with a series of surgeries and chemotherapy. Because of this, she fell behind in a few classes. The fact that she even decided to try and keep going even while dealing with cancer speaks volumes about how important graduating really was to her.

Despite the cancer, she managed to catch up on all of her classes except for one--an english class, which she plans on taking over the summer. Leanna and her mother Lupe asked the school board to allow her to walk the stage with her classmates. Where I live, this wouldn't have even required special permission. It's not as if allowing her to walk across the stage means the school system has to award her a real diploma. All they do at high school graduations is hand the kids a rolled up piece of blank paper; they get their real diploma later on.

Anyway, it seems that after being pressured, the cold-hearted principal has decided to allow Leanna to sit with the students but still won't allow her to walk the stage with her peers. If you have some time on your hands, feel free to give the school a call and voice your view.

Principal Evelia Genera
21 N. West Street Woodland, CA 95695

Phone: (530) 662-4678 ext. 274
Fax: (530)-662-7464

Also, the school system is keeping track of all the calls it receives on this matter. You can voice your support for Leanna walking the stage by calling the central office at:



Jennifer Gandin Le said...

Thanks for this great heads up! I just e-mailed the principal -- I hope it helps. It's such an important ritual for students and families everywhere, and I hope that Leanna gets to participate as she should.

bint alshamsa said...

Thanks Jennifer, I think that they need to hear from folks even if they do decide to let Leanna walk because she never should have had to go through all of this in the first place.

Kay Olson said...

If they let her walk the stage, they'll have to let every tenacious-young-woman-with-cancer-but determined-to-graduate walk the stage. And think of the pandemonium then!

Tigera Consciente said...

yet another example of how school protocol can be dehumanizing...

Tigera Consciente said...

Hey Bint, I just sent you an email to your yahoo account. Let me know if you received it. said...

Hey Tulip!

What was the outcome of this situation? Did the online protest change the principal's stance?

Peace, blessigns and DUNAMIS!