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Indianapolis woman receives late son’s diploma, first under new state law

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Something very unique happened at the Pike Township school board meeting Thursday night.

Tanika Redding  stood up from the crowd, walked to the podium, and received her late son’s diploma from the Pike High School principal.

This diploma was the first to be given out under a new Indiana law that grants diplomas to the parents of children, on track to graduate, who die during their senior year.

“I knew he did it, but for everyone to really recognize and I have it in my hand, it almost took my breath away,” said Redding.

Last November, Tanika's son Kam’ron died in a car crash on the city’s northwest side.

He had the number of credits required to graduate, but was missing two core classes he was planning to take his final semester. Tanika was heartbroken after finding out from the school district that because of those classes, her son couldn’t get a diploma.

But a new statewide law, spearheaded by another Pike Township mom whose son died before he graduated, changed that.

“He’s more than a moment of silence and we now have it,” said Redding to the crowd gathered.

And with the diploma in hand, Redding stopped by her son’s crash site for the very first time after the ceremony.