NRL News

Family of Jahi McMath wants middle school to grant teenager a diploma

by | Jun 11, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Nailah Winkfield, the mother of Jahi McMath

Nailah Winkfield, the mother of Jahi McMath

The family of Jahi McMath is posting on social media, asking supporters to contact her charter school to ask them to grant the eighth-grader a diploma this week. Jahi, diagnosed as brain-dead, was the center of a tremendous battle between the Oakland-area hospital, which wanted to take her off of life support, and her family which sought (successfully) to have her transferred to a facility that would care for the teenager.

Since the school, E.C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts, is not commenting, all we know is that Jahi’s uncle, Omari Sealy, wrote on Instagram, “Jahi McMath was suppose (sic) to be graduating from EC Reems Academy of Technology and Arts in Oakland & they are NOT going to acknowledge/recognize her at the ceremony.”

According to Lisa Fernandez of NBC Bay Area,

In another post, Sealy wrote “The school said they received too many complaints about displaying anything about Jahi McMath….Really????”

Last night the family posted on its Facebook page that Jahi “should be graduating from the 8th grade this month but it may not be possible for her to make it to the ceremony, as she is fighting to recover.” The post then said Jahi “deserves to receive the graduation certificate as she has completed most of the 8th grade work.”

Fernandez, who wrote a story very sympathetic to Nailah Winkfield, Jahi’s mother (Mother of Jahi McMath still convinced “she will have a recovery”), concluded her story

“Chief Operating Officer Lisa Blair declined comment by phone early Wednesday morning on what would happen at the graduation ceremony on Friday.

“But in a January interview with NBC Bay Area, she said she had been telling students at the close-knit public charter school that she had been trying to honor Jahi’s family wishes by telling students that their classmate may still be alive, even though doctors say she is legally and clinically dead.”

Jahi has been on a ventilator since going into cardiac arrest following December 9 surgery to remove her tonsils and clear tissue from her nose and throat. Three days later she was diagnosed as brain-dead and the legal battle began in earnest when the hospital sought to remove Jahi from a ventilator over the family’s vigorous objections.

A truce was brokered in early January during a hearing before Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, allowing Nailah Winkfield to remove her daughter from the hospital as long as she assumed full responsibility. Hospital spokesman Sam Singer vigorously disagreed but Jahi was moved to a still unidentified facility.

In that late March story about Winfield, Fernandez began by quoting Winkfield who said of her daughter.

“She’s still asleep. I don’t use the word ‘brain dead’ for my daughter. I’m just waiting and faithful that she will have a recovery. She is blossoming into a teenager before my eyes.”

Categories: Brain Death