Pregnant teen Utah at North Sanpete High won’t get to walk at graduation

(KUTV) A pregnant Utah teen will not be walking at her graduation on Friday night in central Utah, but it’s not because she didn’t complete her required amount of credits.

(KUTV) A pregnant Utah teen will not be walking at her graduation on Friday night in central Utah, but it’s not because she didn’t complete her required amount of credits.

Inez Aguado told 2News her daughter Rebecaa, who attends North Sanpete High School in Mount Pleasant, Utah came home in tears after she said her school counselor told her she hadn’t completed the required coursework in time to walk with her peers. The counselor told her she would still be able to pick up her diploma on Tuesday. Her mother says she feels like her school counselor didn’t provide her daughter with the help that she needed as a pregnant mother.

Rebecaa isn’t the only one with a complaint. The North Sanpete School District acknowledged there were several complaints this year from parents and students about not being able to walk at graduation.

This was part of their response to claims of unfair treatment. See the full statement embedded below.

“This year, multiple complaints regarding participation in graduation ceremonies have been investigated and all claims of unfair treatment have been found to be factually inaccurate,” North Sanpete School District wrote in a statement.

When asked by 2News if it was true that some students who hadn’t completed graduation requirements were still allowed to walk, while others weren’t, No response was given by the administration, just the following statement.

Rebecaa was given a deadline of last Friday at 3 p.m. to have all her coursework completed. She didn’t complete it until Monday. Aguado says some of her daughter’s peers said they either didn’t complete all of their coursework or were given later deadlines in order to walk at graduation.

“That’s a big thing for all teenagers,” Aguado said in a phone interview stating that getting to walk with their peers is seen as a bigger deal for a teen at the time than actually being awarded a diploma.

Aguado says she realizes her daughter didn’t meet the deadline her counselor set for her, but regardless, she still met the final deadline to get her diploma and doesn’t think her daughter shouldn’t be able to walk.

“I understand policies and I have to respect that. But she worked so hard,” Aguado said. “Monday, when she completed everything she walked to her counselor’s office, he said, ‘yes, you finished everything, too bad you aren’t walking,’ and then he started laughing at her.”

The teen, who is three months pregnant, has been in tears since that situation with her counselor. Her mother, who also happens to work as a teacher’s assistant for the North Sanpete School District at Moroni Elementary appealed the decision to the school principal, the board and the superintendent — but to no avail.

Aguado said the school district is standing behind their decision and says they have to about by their policies.

“It’s not about the kids, it’s about the policy,” Aguado said commenting on how she thought the school district viewed student grievances.

She doesn’t think the counselor used his position to help see a student success and to help them progress.

“He had the privilege of hearing from a pregnant girl that she had accomplished graduating and not dropping out, he could have said ‘you did it congrats,’ instead, he laughed in her face.”

Before Monday, she told her mother she was going to give up and not finish the final requirements, because she had missed her Friday deadline.

“I was like you can’t give up.,” Aguado said. “Do it for you, do it for your baby.” Rebecaa didn’t give up and she completed everything.

“I think they need to focus more on the kids,” she said. “If they have policies, they need to change them, because what is the point of going to school, parents encouraging the kids to graduate if at the end and they are a step away and get stopped?”

Even if the school district won’t let Rebecaa walk, Aguado says her family will hold a celebration for her on Saturday for her accomplishment.

“We’re going to have a party with her tomorrow cap and gown, because she did it and she deserves it.”

Story by Cimaron Neugebauer of KUTV