An anorexic student is being denied her title as valedictorian because of a strict attendance policy. She was absent for seeking inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa.
Karen Scherr is the top academic student in her class at Kingwood High School in the Houston area, and she has been for the past four years. But when the 18-year-old receives her diploma this month, she’ll do so without the title just about everyone expected her to have: valedictorian.
…Scherr’s been in the Kingwood school system since kindergarten. But she wasn’t enrolled in her high school on that 20th day of her junior year.
Instead, she was in a treatment facility seeking help for the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa. “I was sick. That’s part of the disorder,” said Scherr. “It’s a mental disease.” While the school warned the Scherr family of their strict attendance policy, her parents made the decision to keep her hospitalized in Oklahoma until her medical treatment was complete a few weeks later.
Through it all, she kept up her class work and stayed at the top of her class despite her illness.
…Scherr says she made the right choice to miss school to seek treatment. “That was the best decision. I don’t regret it at all. It was a choice made with input from my parents and doctors. I’m ok with it.”
School officials insist they won’t change their minds, saying it would be unfair to retroactively change the rules at the end of the school year.
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