Conklin family to receive diploma at graduation
BoE decision overturned
After a joint meeting between Superintendent of Shelton Schools Dr. Chris Clouet, the Conklin family, and Mayor Mark Lauretti in his office located in City Hall the decision was been made to award the family an honorary diploma for their late son at the annual Shelton High graduation ceremony.
On June 10 the Conklin family will hear Eddy’s name called during the list of graduates and they will receive an honorary diploma once the rest of his classmates cross the stage.
Eddy Conklin was killed in a car crash earlier this year in February on Bridgeport Ave. in Shelton and was just one English credit and a capstone course credit short of earning a high school diploma.
The debate on how to properly honor him has finally come to an end and the Board of Ed have decided on a case by case solution for handling posthumous diplomas.
More than 8,000 people showed support for the Conklin family by signing an online petition pushing for the Board of Ed to overrule their decision to deny the Conklin family an honorary diploma at the graduation ceremony.
The persistence paid off.
Shelton High will also pay tribute to Kristjan Ndoj, another deceased member of the class of 2016, who was shot and killed in a friend’s driveway two years ago. The murder remains unsolved to date.
Board of Ed Chairman Mark Holden said the Conklin family doesn’t wish to have a moment of silence for their son Eddy, but they have yet to discuss the specifics with the Ndoj family.
“This could be tough if the Ndoj family wants the moment of silence for Kristjan because the last thing we want is for people to think we are disrespecting someone by not honoring the other,” said Holden. “We are willing to do what ever the family wishes in this case.”
After months of pushing, the Conklin family are closer to achieving the closure they have been steadily pursuing.
Holden said the decision to overrule the board’s initial ruling was no surprise to him, but was not influenced by the board. Shortly after the board’s May 25 meeting ended, Dr. Clouet stated that their decision hadn’t been made final because of the hostile circumstances.
He added that the Board of Ed is still willing to honor the students at the Senior Awards night as they had initially planned.