Western Pa. high school to honor student who died waiting for bus during graduation

A school district in Erie County reversed its decision to honor a student who was hit and killed by a car while waiting for her school bus during what would have been her graduation.

NBC affiliate WICU reports that Jennifer Zeppieri lost her daughter, Alyssa Hall, in December 2020 and fought the Millcreek Township School District to get her name said in remembrance during the ceremony.

The district said a deceased student’s name had never been said during their graduation before, and it would have been unfair to previously deceased students to start now.

“They say they care about their students so much,” Zeppieri said to WICU. “Well you should care about them even when they’re gone too. Any student, anybody. I think that all children should be recognized no matter what and start something new, a new tradition.”

WICU reports that after a petition was started and shared to Facebook, the district reversed its decision, saying in a statement:

“Our team has continued to have conversations with Alyssa Hall’s family and we are pleased to confirm we have found a solution that both adheres to our District practices and is respectful to the memory of those who cannot be with us at graduation. At the 2024 ceremony, Alyssa’s name will be spoken during one of the opening speeches and we will share a moment of silence for all family members and friends who supported our students through their academic journey that are no longer with us.”

Zeppieri took to the comment section of the petition to thank the community for their support.

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