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When a student at a North Carolina school died during the school year, her classmates and family expected the school to pay tribute to her life during the graduation. But William G. Enloe Magnet High School did not deem her worthy enough of a tribute. They shunned the deceased student who died tragically in 2016, denying her family the special memorial tribute they asked for.
17-year-old Rachel Rosoff was electrocuted to death while serving as a lifeguard at a swimming pool in September 2016. Her death horrified the local community and brought a series of dark months onto her family. Because her parents sourly missed her, they asked the school to recognize her during the graduation. But they school rejected the grieving parents because it would be too much of a mood-killer for the positive vibes. Talk about being ridiculous…
Michelle Schwartz Rosoff, the girl’s mother, received a letter from Principal Will Chavis explaining why the school would not honor her daughter.
A portion of the principal’s letter read: “I have spoken with leaders at the district office regarding your inquiry and request. The stance of the district continues to be that we refrain from memorials at the Graduation Ceremony. Because Graduation is meant to be a ceremony for students’ accomplishments and a celebration thereof, we want to ensure that the ceremony maintains a happy, vibrant feel. A memorial of a lost/loved one has potential to cause students (or others) to react in ways that would take trained professionals (i.e., counselors) to support — we cannot assure that at such an occasion. Consequently, we will not have a memorial at the graduation ceremony.”
Because the decision was evil, Rachel’s sister, Jordana Rosoff started a petition on Change.org to get the school to change.
“This is so hurtful and wrong,” she explained. “I just want my sister to be recognized and acknowledged for the beautiful, goofy, funny, care free, caring person she was. She lived her life in a way we can all learn from, she was truly exceptional. … They want to pretend she did not exist, which not only hurts me, but my family and her friends.”
Many other students were also outraged that William G. Enloe Magnet High School was refusing to honor a student who would have walked on that graduation stage.
Despite getting a lot of support, Jordana’s efforts failed to persuade the school. Her sister will not be honored at graduation.
The Rosoffs are suing two companies in Rachel’s death. They claim they were responsible for electrocuting her.
“They knew of discovered conditions which were dangerous at this pool, and they didn’t correct them,” claims their attorney, David Kirby. “This was a horrible death. She was paralyzed by the electricity, but she consciously drowned.”
The wires that electrocuted Rachel were installed in the ground 40 years prior to the incident. They probably should have been updated.
Rachel dreamed of growing up to become a comedy writer for “Saturday Night Live” and also performing in the theater. Now her dreams will never come to fruition.
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