5th grader in wheelchair overlooked at graduation

Student overlooked at elementary graduation.

HOUSTON - Trinecia Blacklock needs wheels to get around but that's never kept a smile off her face, until last Tuesday.

"We were just extremely excited," said Tonisha McCowan, Trinecia's mother. "We were waiting to see her graduate everybody was there to yell, scream, but we got shut down completely."

At Blacklock's fifth grade graduation ceremony, administrators at Link Elementary forgot she was there.

"They closed up the ceremony and then forgot to call my name," said Blacklock.

While her classmates walked up to get their certificates, Blacklock didn't.

"How they missed her sitting there by herself down there in a wheelchair, I don't know," said McCowan.

Only after her parents alerted administrators did the principal call her name. She never got a chance to cross the stage like everyone else.

"I wish I would have gone across the stage, but they have no ramp, nothing but stairs," said Blacklock.

Now she has her certificate. Her family even bought her a cake and had her pose for photos but the memories tied to that day she can't forget.

"It was just all very humiliating," said McCowan. "Her joy from that day was stripped from right under her."

Spring ISD sent us this statement earlier today:

Spring ISD administrators were recently made aware that during a fifth-grade promotion ceremony a student was unable to completely participate in the program. The student was acknowledged from the podium but was unable to cross the stage to receive a certificate. Although the school had good intentions in acknowledging the student's academic achievement, accommodations should have been made so the student could fully participate in the program or the program should have been adjusted. Once this issue was brought to Spring ISD administration's attention, it was immediately reviewed and district administrators from the Office of School Leadership, which oversees principals and campuses, met with the student's family to offer an apology. Additionally, the Office of Operations is reviewing all district facilities to ensure that they are compliant at all times and that this never happens again.


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