Despite a community-wide push, a homeschooled teenager will not be allowed to walk at Naples’ Lake Region High School graduation.
Kelly Moore knew it was a last-ditch effort, but the outcome still stings.
“It’s sad,” Moore said.
The Lake Region school board said her son, Tim, can’t walk at graduation.
“They didn’t listen at all, not at all,” Moore said.
He’s been homeschooled all his life, but remained part of his class, by participating in three sports at the high school, playing in the band and taking vocational courses.
“It is frustrating, but they just keep saying, ‘Well, 2007 is our policy, no one’s marched since then,’” Moore said.
When the superintendent turned Tim Moore down last week, the community rallied in response, sharing the hashtag #LetTimWalk all over social media and around town.
On Monday, they pleaded with the board.
“So, there were probably 14 kids that got up and just poured their hearts out to the board, just to let him march,” Moore said.
But the school board’s chair, Janice Barter, said they’re sticking to the policy that only students receiving a Lake Region High School diploma can participate.
“This is not something we want to do,” Barter said. “This is our policy, and as I said, policies are made during non-emotional times.”
Moore hopes they’ll revisit that policy.
“Every kid should have an opportunity, and I don’t think there’s very many that want to walk if they’re not involved, so if they are involved, what’s it hurt?” Moore said.
The Moore family still plans to make the most of it. Tim Moore will be there on graduation day to support all of the friends who have supported him, some of whom are offering to let him borrow a cap and gown to take pictures.