Deceased Student Deserves Recognition at Graduation

Target: Will Chavis, Principal of William G. Enloe Magnet High School

Goal: Demand school acknowledge the memory of dead student.

A North Carolina high school refuses to acknowledge and recognize a deceased student as part of the graduating class of this year, citing that graduation should be a happy time and that any mention of death would spoil the celebration. They believe that the concept of a memorial to a dead student would be so upsetting to the audience and graduates that they would need counselors on-site to intervene and make things better.

This is not only insulting and devastating to the family of the deceased, Rachel Rosoff, but a prime example of how society is conditioning its youth to fear the realities of life rather than learning strong coping skills. The refusal to acknowledge and pay tribute to a student who died tragically also teaches that happy celebrations are more important than the memory of a girl who was friends with several of these students. This “safe space culture” is going to do more harm than good, and these graduates will enter the world ill-equipped to handle any setbacks or tragedies life may throw at them.

We cannot allow this high school to ignore the memory of Rosoff and treat her as though she never existed. She was a part of the graduating class and deserves to be recognized as such, even if only through a memorial. Students need to be treated like the mature adults they will become, not protected from reality. Sign this petition to demand William G. Enloe Magnet High School acknowledge Rosoff and apologize to her family for dismissing their feelings.


Dear Principal Chavis,

Your refusal to recognize Rachel Rosoff as part of your school’s graduating class is very insensitive. Graduation is a time of celebration, but it is also a time of reflection on the past, and this girl was a cherished friend and classmate to the other students. Furthermore, your assumption that death cannot be discussed without counselors nearby to hold people’s hands is insulting, not only insinuating that people are too weak to handle reality, but teaching the graduates to fear and shy away from such things instead of developing the skills to cope.

Your letter to Rosoff’s family was also insensitive. They are devastated by the loss of their daughter and sister, and to tell them that recognizing her at all would ruin the happy celebration is a slap in the face to them and their suffering.

Reverse your decision. Include a memorial, even a short one, to the deceased Rosoff. Acknowledge her as a part of the graduating class, even if she is no longer among you, and apologize to her family for your words as well.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cgb628

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare

One Comment

  1. Kathryn Irby says:

    Recognize this deceased student at graduation!!! It’s the right thing to do!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


250 Signatures

  • Marilyn Williams
  • Marilyn Williams
  • Karin Rettig
  • Salinna DEL SOLL
  • Mel Bowler
  • Heidi Wagner
  • Tracey Miller
  • Amy Wilson
  • Judy Wang
  • Rebecca Lambert
1 of 25123...25
Skip to toolbar