Local News

Parents of deceased students receive their diplomas at graduation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) -- Graduations are a time to recognize the accomplishments of the high school seniors, but for some schools, it was a time to remember the ones who were not able to walk the stage. 

Parker High School and Thompson High School graduates had their moment to shine. It was a proud moment for them and their families, but for a few, it was difficult.

"It's surreal," said Jerome Lang, the father of Joshua Lang, who died in a crash that killed three Parker High School seniors. 

"How proud I am - how that's actually the last conversation I had with her was that she had taken her cap and gown picture that day and just how proud I am for her," said Michelle Lunsford, the mother of Camryn Callaway, who died in February in a crash.

Callaway was recognized in front of her senior class and her mother walked the stage to receive her diploma.

"They've all been going to school for 18 years and they deserve this just like the rest of them do," Lunsford said. "She deserves to get that diploma and if it be by my hands or hers, just to honor her for her accomplishments." 

A similar sentiment was shared at the Parker High School graduation to honor the three seniors who were killed in a crash in April.

"I wanted to see him walk across that stage," said Lang. 

"He should have been walking today," said Jenetta Davis, the mother of Michael Davis.

But instead, the parents received their diplomas and big support from the community.

"They've been a blessing through the prayers. Prayer changes things," said David. 


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