Sevier County homeschooled senior wants to walk at graduation - WKRN News 2

Sevier County Schools rejects homeschooled student's plea to walk at graduation

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Destiny Mahaffey has already received her diploma. Destiny Mahaffey has already received her diploma.
Destiny was allowed to attend Sevier County's prom. (Source: Mahaffey family) Destiny was allowed to attend Sevier County's prom. (Source: Mahaffey family)
"She got to go to prom," said Lori Mahaffey. "Why can't she graduate? What's the big deal?" "She got to go to prom," said Lori Mahaffey. "Why can't she graduate? What's the big deal?"

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - A Sevier County mom wants to see her daughter walk across the stage and receive her high school diploma like so many students will be doing over the next few weeks, but there's a problem.

Her daughter has been homeschooled for the past two years, and the school system says since she has not participated in public school, she is not allowed.   

Destiny Mahaffey has already received her diploma after completing her homeschool work, and now all she wants is do is walk across the stage at Sevier County High School like all of her friends.

She says being told she cannot has been difficult.
     
"Please let me walk," said Destiny. "It would be very important to me and I've earned it. I've done all the work, so there is no reason for me not to."

She already attended prom at the school and feels attending graduation would close this chapter her life.

No one at the Sevier County school board office would do an on-camera interview, but they did tell us no homeschooled children are allowed to attend graduation.

Sevier County Assistant Superintendent Debra Ann Cline released the school system's policy on graduation, which states:

"Students must be enrolled in the Sevier County School System and must have completed graduation requirements as outlined by the Sevier County Board of Education to be permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies."

"It's a right of passage number one, and number two she's earned it," said Destiny's mother Lori Mahaffey.

She also wants to see her daughter walk.

Lori said there are personal reasons why her daughter had to be homeschooled, and those issues should not keep her from walking.

Furthermore, several of their family members have also graduated from Sevier County High School, and they do not want to stop the tradition.

"She got to go to prom," said Lori Mahaffey. "Why can't she graduate? What's the big deal? It's not costing Sevier County any money. We already have a gown. We already have a cap. We already have the 2013 tassel. What's the big deal? There is none."

Destiny and her family say they plan to fight for a reversal in the decision for the next three weeks.

Graduation is set for May 28.

Destiny's family has now created a Facebook page to gain support for her desire to walk.

We reached out to several school systems to find out if they have similar polices on graduation.

Knox and Jefferson counties also do not allow homeschooled students to walk at graduation.

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