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Exchange students not participating in Dansville High School graduation ceremony

Exchange students not participating in Dansville High School graduation ceremony
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 5:55 PM EST
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DANSVILLE, Mich. (WILX) - Exchange students from around the world come to Michigan for the American high school experience, including graduation.

But Dansville High School is breaking from the norm and not letting its exchange students participate in graduation for the 2021-22 school year this spring.

“They just destroyed in a few sentences,” said Laura Peterson, who is from Germany. “This is all I’ve been dreaming about since, I don’t even know how many years.”

That dream is to live like an American teenager. She’s a cheerleader, on the basketball team and was voted to the homecoming court, which makes not being allowed to graduate even harder.

“I was really disappointed because I thought Dansville was such a strong and helpful and enjoyable community,” Laura said.

Laura said her friends who also came to the United States were able to walk at graduation with their classmates.

“I don’t expect at my graduation that I get a diploma or a paper, I just want to walk with my graduation outfit and throw my hat up. That’s everything I want,” she said.

“At the time we’re getting told no, all of her foreign exchange students friends locally and no locally are posting pictures of them in their cap and gown prepping for graduation,” said Alesha Metter, Laura’s host mother.

Metter said she’s worked with the school during Laura’s entire stay, now she’s worried about the future of the exchange program at Dansville.

“If people and students know they’re not going to be able to walk across the stage to get the end of their experience, nobody is going to want to come to Dansville and experience our amazing community,” said Metter.

Dansville’s graduation is scheduled to happen on May 22.

The district told News 10 administrators plan to meet with the family in a couple of weeks.

Related: Dansville High School adds new football coach

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