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Special needs student forced to graduate early

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Updated: 5/02/2013 9:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Senior year of high school is a time to remember. It's full of friends, memories, prom-- all things Tyler Anderson won't get to experience. 

"We're still shocked and we're disappointed and quite frankly, don't believe they would do that to him and us," Shelley Anderson said.

18-year-old Tyler goes to Atlantic Coast High School. He had a brain anuerism as a toddler, so he's in a special program because of his disabilities. On April 12th, he was told he was moved up and would graduate this year instead of next.

"His teacher called and said they had a meeting with someone from district and were told that all of these students that were 18, slated to graduate, would be leaving their facility and participating in graduation and take a diploma and would not be allowed to come back," Anderson continued.

That means, no prom for Tyler. No homecoming, no Grad Night. No full year of senior status. No time to prepare for college.

"I feel like it's not fair," Tyler said.

The Andersons say they were told Tyler had to leave because the special education program was changing. School leaders suggested Tyler transition to the Alden Road Expeptional Student Center, but Mom Shelley says that's not a suitable option. She believes her son was left in the cold and that the system failed them.

"This feels like this is a last-minute experiment for next year to see how it goes. An experiment is not OK," she said. 

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti spoke about Tyler's situation a short time ago. He says he is sympathetic to the parents, but told us that even though Tyler is the age of a high school junior, he has enough credits to graduate as a senior this year. Vitti says Tyler obtained senior status back in October.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Abe Froeman - 5/3/2013 11:35 AM
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If any other student "had enough credits to graduate," but wanted to stay in school to accrue AP credits and push the college bound stats up, would they force them to leave their high school?
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