Teen Murder Victim Gets Honorary Diploma, Friends Want Mother to Walk at Graduation
OMAHA (KPTM)- 16-year-old Eriana Carr was gunned down near her school two years ago.This weekend her class will graduate without her.Carr's family wants the school to read her name during the ceremony, but the school hasn’t agreed to doing that. The school has already given the family her diploma.Carr's family wants to do more to keep her name alive.
Carr was an athlete who wanted to become an actress. But to her friends and family, Eriana Carr was so much more.
“Just a comforter, a person that loved to talk and speak her mind. Friendly, nice, never had anything negative to say and she was always into school,” Willecia Jones said.
The Benson High School student was murdered during her sophomore year.
“I feel like Eriana just had her life got snatched away and she was innocent. She didn't get the opportunities that we do now."
Her friends got nearly a thousand signatures on a petition to have Carr's mom walk on stage in her daughter's place.
“She motivated them to graduate. She was the friend that surrounded everybody like 'you know we're going to do this 2014'. She kept her friends courage and kept them up so they could graduate," Shavon Carr said.
The school's principal granted Shavon the diploma, but didn’t agree to letting her walk on stage.
“When the principal gave me this she said 'this diploma is just like the one everybody else will get. Only thing different is it says honorary'. So I feel like she should get all the amenities that everybody else is getting."
Carr's friend, Willecia Jones, started the petition. She says the school doesn't want to honor one student who has passed and not others. She understands that point.
"I feel like this could be a stepping stone or start to where we could have Eriana, you know, be the first walk in her family and then for other kids that have passed on to do the same."
Carr's mother says she isn't angry. She just hope the school allows her to walk the stage.
"All their hard work that they did. They got all these signatures and they-they made this happen. They should be acknowledged for that."
OPS officials released a statement Wednesday.
“We do not have a written policy or procedure regarding letting parents of deceased students walk at graduation. In this case, Ms. Carr was offered, and agreed to, the chance to receive a diploma in honor of her daughter before the graduation ceremony."
The man accused of killing Carr, Tracy Parnell, will go to trial in October.