CYPRESS, Texas - A Houston-area high school senior and more than 15,000 online petition-signers say Cypress Ranch High School should bend its finals-exemption eligibility rules for a student who was absent while trying to save a dog.

Monica Diaz, 18, was pet-sitting her friend's dog when it escaped out the front door and into the street.

Diaz tried to save the dog but it was hit by a car and killed. Diaz says the car ran over her foot as well and she ended up going to the hospital.

The teenager says the incident accounted for her fourth absence this semester.

Cy-Fair School District rules state that for a student to be eligible for exemption from final exams, the student must have met the minimum GPA requirements and was absent for no more than three days.

Diaz says the response to the online petition started by her friend is surprising.

"It would make me happy if it would actually do something with the rule," Diaz said. "I don't care about me anymore, I'm going to take my test but I want the rule to change for the future students because it's literally not fair at all."

A Cy-Fair School District spokeswoman cited student privacy rules and could not comment on the number of absences Diaz has this semester.

The spokeswoman said that no matter the personal emergency that causes a student to miss school, if a student has more than three absences per semester, the student may not be excused from having to sit for final exams.

In an e-mailed statement, CFISD states;
"CFISD maintains a final exemption policy that it takes into consideration attendance, conduct and grades in an effort to be fair to all students with varying attendance situations."