Stephanie Newbury is a mom on a mission. The parent of a Boiling Springs High School senior, Newbury says the district failed her daughter by not letting her daughter pass her graduation project.
According to Newbury, her daughter Madison has attention deficit disorder along with anxiety and depression disorders compounded by a lack of executive skills. This has led to Madison being on an individual educational plan for years. Madison also requires special assistance for educational tasks, according to Newbury.
"I feel that she was set up to fail," Newbury said.
At issue is Madison's graduation project. A South Middleton staple for years, high school students must receiving a passing grade to walk at graduation. According to Newbury, Madison wrote a 30-page paper that was well researched about a typical teen topic. The assignment also required a presentation that Madison completed.
"It was about vampires," Newbury said.
However, Newbury said the project apparently wasn't up to school standards, in part, by the way Madison went about the assignment.
Newbury argues that her daughter needs things like oral instruction and long-term planning due to her disorders, items that she says are in the individual educational plan that Madison did not receive throughout the process.
"I feel everything from sick to my stomach to frustrated," Newbury said.
She said she reached out to district officials who just reinforced that Madison would not be able to join her classmates at graduation.
She pleaded her case before the South Middleton School Board Monday night. Officials said they could not comment due to the nature of the issue.
Time is running out: commencement is Thursday. When proud students and families are set to gather at Ecker Field, Madison Newbury may not be one of them but her mom isn't giving up yet.
"It ain't over till its over," her mother said.
Newbury said she is planning on getting in touch with the state Department of Education.
There is also a Facebook page supporting Madison with over 1,000 likes,
Superintendent Patricia Sanker said she could not comment about this issue. However, she said that almost annually a handful of students do not walk at graduation for failing to pass the graduation project requirement.