Graduating HS senior fights for diploma - CBS46 News

Graduating HS senior fights for diploma

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Christopher Alderidge has defied the odds his whole life.

"I worked hard since I was four," said Alderidge, who suffered two strokes before he was old enough to walk, leaving him with autism.

When Alderidge was 8 years old, doctors found a cyst on his brain.

This year, the Allatoona High School senior worked hard to pass his classes.

"Last semester, I got all "As" and "Bs" and this year I got all my credit," said Alderidge, who insisted he satisfied all of the requirements to graduate.

Last week, however, his counselor said something that crushed him.

"She told me I won't be able to walk. I didn't meet the standards," Alderidge said.

Alderidge failed the state science exam required to complete senior year. His school will not let him walk with the graduating class.

"To tell me there's one obstacle I couldn't meet, I won't walk, this is very heartbreaking," Alderidge said.

Alderidge's mother, Brenda, understands that her son still must pass the exam. She says, however, the Cobb County School District has allowed students to graduate in previous years while owing requirements.

"If they have their credits to graduate, they're just missing something with this test, let these kids walk," Brenda Alderidge said.

Christopher Alderidge is scheduled to take the science test again over the summer.

"We can come back to the test later. It's just a walk. Just let us have one moment of glory," he said.

In the meantime, Christopher Alderidge's mother is fighting to get the district to let her son walk across the graduation stage with his classmates.

"It was extremely heartbreaking," Brenda Alderidge said as she wiped her tears. "I don't want to take something else away from this child. He's had so much struggle, trying to do everything on his own."

School board Vice Chairman Randy Scamihorn told CBS46 "It is being discussed. We are following all the policies clearly laid out. We aren't without a heart. But we're at a dilemma. If you arbitrarily move the line, then where is the line? We hope to give parents a definitive answer on Monday."

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