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Philadelphia Teen Barred From Commencement After Being Shot 10 Instances



Dashawn Walker is a highschool graduate and gun violence survivor. Although he has principally recovered bodily, the 18-year-old stays anguished following his ordeal, in keeping with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

On February 21, 2023, the then-17-year-old was strolling residence from faculty in North Philadelphia when a person exited his automobile and shot him 10 instances. The restoration was grueling—a dozen surgical procedures that left Walker hospitalized for months. He needed to full his senior yr on the Arithmetic, Civics, and Sciences Constitution Faculty just about. Regardless of these challenges, Walker hoped to stroll alongside his classmates at commencement. Nevertheless, this by no means occurred.

Veronica Joyner is the chief administrator of his faculty. She personally interviewed Walker within the admissions course of and, when she came upon about his assault, grew to become apprehensive for the scholar. Quickly, nevertheless, her concern morphed into worry.

After discovering that Walker was focused, Joyner and the college board determined to exclude {the teenager} from all in-person actions, together with commencement. This choice stemmed from Joyner’s worry that Walker’s shooter may assault him once more, this time at college. 

Walker’s assailant was recognized as 20-year-old Micah Roane. Although he resides in the identical neighborhood as {the teenager}, the 2 have by no means interacted, Walker saids. The teenager insisted that the pair by no means had any earlier dialog or altercation. Captain James Kearney of the Philadelphia Police Division shared that Walker “appeared like child” with no prior run-ins with the legislation; prosecutors additionally confirmed that he was not concerned in any avenue violence.

“I used to be the sufferer, and I felt like I used to be the issue,” mentioned Walker.

Walker tried to cause with Joyner to no avail. “My coronary heart goes out to Dashawn, however I didn’t create the state of affairs. My actions didn’t contain me in one thing that bought me shot,” Joyner instructed the Inquirer.

She claimed that Walker must be glad that the college helped him graduate and that promenade and commencement ceremonies are privileges, not rights. 

Through the years, Joyner has made headlines. The Training Legislation Middle filed a lawsuit in opposition to the constitution faculty earlier this yr involving a lady who had an argument together with her classmates. That very same group filed one other lawsuit in 2019, alleging that the college rejected a 6-year-old’s admission as a result of she required companies for ADHD, in keeping with the Philadelphia ChalkBeat. Joyner was additionally listed in a 2008 employment discrimination lawsuit from a former teacher on the faculty.

After the capturing, Walker was knowledgeable by a number of of his associates that Joyner saved commenting about how he may afford designer objects, insinuating that he participates in illicit actions. Regardless of denying such feedback, in an interview, she did query the place his household earned the cash for his promenade swimsuit, which price upward of $1,000. 

Joyner has a lot to boast about relating to her constitution faculty’s achievements, together with their current mock trial worldwide champions, 6ABC Philadelphia stories. However, no matter its success, her current actions mar an already important occasion not only for college students however the metropolis, given the district’s current initiative. Affected by significantly excessive drop-out charges and unsatisfactory commencement charges, Philadelphia’s Superintendent Tony Watlington Sr. introduced a plan to enhance tutorial efficiency throughout the faculty district and increase success charges, in keeping with Pennsylvania Capital Star

Nonetheless, there’s a brilliant spot in Walker’s future. He plans to attend Shippensburg College and main in both enterprise or well being care. He additionally hopes to begin a help group for different victims of gun violence. Walker is starting a brand new chapter in his life. Although he can’t change the previous and there’s no assure that he can ever change Joyner’s thoughts, he needs to make a distinction.

RELATED CONTENT: eighth Grader Treks 2 Hours To Attend His Commencement, Lands A Full-Experience to an HBCU



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