Teen With Kidney Failure Can Attend Prom After Social Media Pressure

By Tina Chen

May 2, 2014 1:08pm

A North Carolina boy with kidney failure is looking forward to attending his senior prom Saturday night, apparently thanks to a Change.org petition created by his aunt, after initially fearing he would be barred for missing classes.

Benaiah Massey has been physically unable to attend classes at Louisburg High School this past semester and, his family told ABC News affiliate WTVD in North Carolina, he received word from the school that he would not be welcome at the prom.

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(WTVD)

So Massey’s aunt, Kristy Bradley, took to social media to rally support for her nephew. In a petition she created on Change.org, she addressed Dr. Cheryl Benson, the Franklin County’s assistant superintendent and wrote, “Let Benaiah Massey Attend His Senior Prom.”

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The petition accumulated more than 800 signatures, with comments by classmates, community members and strangers in support of the cause.

“I personally know Benji… He is one of the smartest, coolest, funniest people I know. He is one of my closest friends. I miss him so much and I have been so worried about him,” posted one classmate, Emily Harris.

Nicole Schaffer of Arizona wrote, “Punishing a child for being is absolutely ridiculous.”

Franklin County School District spokesman Joe Baisley told ABC News that the situation was a misunderstanding and Massey can attend the prom.

“We can’t comment on student matters, but we cleared up the miscommunication, we resolved it as soon as we were notified,” Baisley said.

 

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(WTVD)

Community members told WTVD that Massey should have been able to attend the prom in the first place.

“They should bend [the rules] for this boy under these circumstances,” said Louisburg resident Carolyn Perry.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s outrageous,” said another Louisburg resident, Paul Calamacl. “It’s not like he chose to get sick.

Benaiah Massey told WTVD off camera that he was appreciative of those who came to his aid. ABCNews.com was unable to reach him for further comment.

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