Thomas Jefferson HS students protest and demand diploma for murdered classmate
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Dozens of students protested outside of Thomas Jefferson High School and the family of a murdered classmate, demanding the school award Daveon Elliott his diploma this spring.
Elliot was shot back in November in the 5800 block of Larrymore Road and later died at the hospital.
His friends and family say no arrest has been made yet for his death
“For the people who work here, for us, for his mother, his friends, it wasn’t easy for anybody,” Miranda Ortiz, Elliot’s childhood friend, said. “We’re all still dealing with it.”
Elliott’s mom says her son was a kid who loved being in school and was still deciding on what college to go to next fall.
“He’d be up at six in the morning, making sure he’s here on time. A lot of kids look up to him; they look forward to seeing him come to schools,” Miche Crumm said. “He was at school every day. He was a good kid.”
Crumm and Elliott’s friends say all she wants now is her son’s high school diploma.
“We’re here to get his diploma; we’re not playing about this,” Ortiz said. “It’s a problem for him. It’s been a problem for years about this, and it should be changed. If they made it to this year, he made it to his 12th-grade year. He took his senior picture, so he should get his diploma.”
The school division says it, unfortunately, can’t give out Elliot’s diploma.
According to a school division spokesperson, when it comes to diplomas, the school division has to operate under state law which requires students to receive a certain number of credits to graduate.
Elliott, unfortunately, was unable to finish those requirements.
We feel deep empathy for Ms. Crumm and
the entire community who is grieving the loss of Daveon Elliot. Daveon was one of us at RPS, and we want to honor his life and time at Thomas Jefferson High School. Though RPS is legally prohibited from issuing a diploma to those who've not met the requirements
set out by the Virginia Department of Education, we have offered to issue a posthumous certificate to Daveon, which would be presented by school and RPS leadership to his family. Additionally, Daveon will receive a full-page memorial in TJ’s yearbook.
Elliott’s mom says that a certificate is not enough for her son’s hard work.
“I want justice. I want a diploma, and I want this to stop,” Crumm said.
Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.