ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - APS has had a change of heart.
Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks decided a teen left disabled after surgery complications can walk with his Volcano Vista classmates at graduation even though he's not getting a diploma.
An outcry and an online petition that's gone viral may have had something to do with it.
Mel Phipps-Alderete's fellow students said APS made the right call by bending the rules.
"My friends were talking about it yesterday, how it made us mad, but you know it's great to see that they're letting him do that," said senior Charles Lautaimi. "He's got a special heart. He's a good kid."
Others said there would have been something missing if APS hadn't let Mel participate.
"We're all family here, and without him we're just missing another family member," said senior Devaughn Fuller.
The family says they're thankful to hear the school district's decision, and that they're looking forward to the joyful occasion with Mel and his classmates.
Brooks sent KRQE News 13 a statement saying this is the "right thing to do" and that Mel deserves the chance to walk with his class.
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