WESTWOOD, OH (FOX19) - An apparent misunderstanding led to a student protest Tuesday at James N. Gamble Montessori School.
Believing that the school's principal was not going to allow seniors to honor one of their classmates at graduation this year, students held a sit-in in the halls of the school Tuesday morning.
The students want to honor Nariah Hudson, who took his own life Oct. 18, 2016, by placing a cap and gown on an empty chair at commencement.
"It was a misunderstanding," said principal Jack Jose. "I think that it had been communicated to them that a decision had been made on that, but it hadn't. The one thing they asked for was a seat to remember him, an empty seat. I promised them that in the hallways this morning."
Along with the empty seat at graduation in May, dozens of friends and classmates of Nariah Hudson planted a tree in his honor on campus Tuesday. A stone with Hudson's name and the years he lived engraved in it lies at the base of the tree. The tree symbolizes that Hudson's spirit "is still growing," his mother Lenise Hudson said.
"And that rock will be placed here, and like a rock, a stone, it will not be moved," she said.
Nariah Hudson would have turned 20 years old Tuesday.