Bereaved Parents Fight for Honorary Shelton Diploma as Graduation Looms

Friends and family of a Shelton High School senior who was killed in a crash in February, are fighting for him to be recognized and receive an honorary diploma at what would have been his graduation.

Eddy Conklin's mother said she never thought she would be in the situation she is in now.

“If you could relive just one day, what day would it be? I know for certain what day we would pick. That’s February 28," said Barbara Conklin because that was the last time her son was alive.

The popular Shelton High School student-athlete was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Bridgeport Avenue. Police are still investigating the details surrounding that deadly crash.

“Closure," said Mrs. Conklin. "I want everyone to go on peacefully.”

Many people from Shelton were pleading with the Board of Education on Wednesday night for Eddy to be able to receive an honorary diploma at what would have been graduation ceremony scheduled for June 10.

“They weren’t asking for music to be played, confetti to fall or the heavens to open," said a family friend. "They simply wanted their son recognized along with his classmates," she added.

“Please use your hearts," another woman pleaded. "Allow Eddy’s name to be called at graduation.”

Even before dozens of people spoke out to the Board of Education, the board had already voted not to take up the Conklin's request at Wednesday's meeting.

"The Board agreed to start a new tradition - awarding an Honorary Diploma to the families of students who were in good standing, but died before meeting graduation requirements," Mark Holden, a chairman on the Board of Education, wrote on Facebook earlier this month.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the district multiple times for comment.

Eddy's father, meanwhile, said he will keep fighting for his son's honorary diploma right up until the graduation ceremony begins.

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