Indy woman upset murdered son not recognized at high school graduation

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Pike Township student was shot and killed four months ago. His mother was hoping for her son to be honored and recognized at graduation, but she said that didn’t happen.

Sanekah Jackson-Jones went to the school board last month. She asked for a certificate or an honorary diploma for her 18-year-old son.

“For all those years you’re in school and you’re not going to honor them at all?” Jackson-Jones said. “You’re not going to stop for two minutes to say their names for the last time?”

The board told her then they didn’t have a policy in place to honor students who have died.

“He’s not here but his smile, I could just see it you know? I could see his smile as soon as they would call his name,” she said. “Even if he wasn’t there it would just have been special to us and his friends.”

Jackson-Jones said someone from the school board delivered a certificate of recognition for her son, Jerrold Parker.

“If you were in my shoes, would this be acceptable? Would this be OK? Would this ease your pain that you’re feeling?” she asked.

Jackson-Jones admits the school board gave her what she wanted. But she was hoping for them to do that on graduation day at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

“I just felt like it would probably ease some of my family’s pain to see him be honored today,” she said.

Police said her son was shot and killed over what they believe was an argument on Twitter. Devin Leggett, 19, is still waiting to go on trial for murder.

“I always sit and think and say, ‘Why him?’ He was so funny; he would be friends with anybody if you gave him the chance,” she said. “They didn’t so it’s hard.”

Jackson-Jones said she is struggling with the loss of her son every day. She even threw a prom and graduation party in his honor.

“I felt like I promised him we would do these things and since he’s not here everything I promised my kids I pretty much make sure I do it,” she said.

Jackson-Jones wants the school board to consider a policy that would recognize deceased students by name at graduation. She said not just for her but for other families as well.

“I think from this time forward you should definitely honor any child who has lost their lives it’s the right thing to do,” she said.

A spokesperson for Pike Township told 24-Hour News 8 a moment of silence was held during graduation. She said from now they will have a practice in place to recognize seniors who have passed away with a certificate of recognition.

Jackson-Jones said someone from the school board stopped by her home with flowers after the graduation.

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