Tift Co. mother fights to change graduation rule on honoring students who died

Tift Co. mother fights to change graduation rule on honoring students who died
Macy Mathis died in a car crash in 2016. (Source: WALB)
Cindy Mathis is the mother of Macy Mathis. (Source: WALB)
Cindy Mathis is the mother of Macy Mathis. (Source: WALB)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - A Tifton woman's Facebook post about her daughter, who would have graduated high school this year, is catching attention here in South Georgia.

Cindy Mathis' daughter, Macy, died in a car crash and she wrote about how the school her daughter attended will not honor Macy at graduation.

"Macy always had a drive in her, and she's always had a great heart," said Cindy.

Macy Mathis died in a car wreck back in 2016.

She would've graduated from Tift County High School this year.

Some of her classmates hoped they could honor her at this year's graduation.

"So they messaged me a couple weeks ago and told me that they were denied," said Cindy.

From that point on, Cindy hasn't stopped trying. She said she got a call from the school saying the school decided a while ago that they don't honor deceased students.

"It's a time for happiness, not a memorial service. And it's for students that have finished 12 years of school," Cindy explained.

She started to research and she says she found that there was no rule about honoring students at graduations.

The Tift County School System who gave us this statement:

The loss of a child is one of the most tragic events someone can ever experience. When a student in our school system passes away, we work with our counselors, leadership and the families of the student to address their needs as best we can. We have numerous memorials throughout our system including benches, trees, fountain, birdhouses and plaques that were installed to honor deceased students and staff members. We will gladly continue to work with any family who wishes to memorialize a child. As with any request from a parent, we will review it and respond appropriately. However, for more than a decade, it has been our practice to keep the graduation ceremony as one that celebrates the accomplishments of completing all of the requirements of high school while finding alternative ways to honor the memory of students who passed away.

"This rule needs to be overturned whether it's for my little girl, and it might be too late for my little girl, but maybe for future students that will be graduating that attended Tift County High School," said Cindy.

That is part of what is fueling her fight.

"If it would've been one of her friends, she wouldn't let this go. She would keep on fighting until she couldn't fight no more," said Mathis. "And that's what I'm going to do for her, and for other students that passed."

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