Local teen continues to fight school to attend prom

Created: 04/29/2014 5:51 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

A local teen fighting auto-immune disorders is also fighting to go to her school prom. The prom is what many teens dream of.  This teen has the perfect dress, but right now, she doesn't know if she will be able to go to prom.

The district says Jacqueline Duncan, who is a junior at Wayne High School, has not met academic standards. The teen and her mother say it is because she’s battling a disease and she hasn’t been given the help she needs.

Prom is a highlight of high school and Jacqueline Duncan does not want to miss a second of it. This is a stressful time as her family waits to find out if Jacqueline will be able to go to the prom. The teen’s mother says she’s grateful she spoke with the school superintendent and she says there’s much more to the story.

Khrystine Duncan, Jacqueline’s mom, said, “There’s so many things that she doesn’t get to do.”

It's an emotional time for Khrystine Duncan, but she's keeping hope her daughter will be able to wear the prom dress she picked out.

Khrystine Duncan, mother, said, “It'd be awesome.  It'd just be awesome.”

Her daughter suffers from pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders, which causes emotional and physical pain. But she’s not giving up her fight for prom.

Jacqueline Duncan said, “I'm very upset and it's fueling me to fight. I'm not willing to let it go.”

Khrystine Duncan said, “They've placed her in a really bad setting.  This is the most restrictive classroom, she's in a classroom with children with more severe disabilities and because of that it's a very high stress situation and it exacerbates her symptoms.”

Because of those symptoms, Duncan says her daughter, Jacqueline, has missed a lot of school. She's not passing all of her classes and the district has said she's not eligible to attend the prom.

Jacqueline Duncan said, “The school has not given me what I need educationally and that's their fault.  I've had to let go of a lot of things I originally wanted and prom is not something I’m willing to let go of."

On Tuesday, Khrystine Duncan met with the school superintendent who says she's considering whether or not to allow the teen to attend.

Renee Garrett, Superintendent, Wayne Central Schools, said, “We have over-arching rules for all students and we try to be fair to everyone, but once in a while, individual circumstances are presented and we do our best to address that.”

Duncan and her family have launched a petition drive on the web and raised more than 600 signatures since Friday.

Jacqueline is suffering from PANDAS and RND. To learn more about PANDAS, click here. To learn more about RND, click here.

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