Ten years late, DCSS student finally receives diploma

Dr. Joshua Murfree and McDaniel meeting at the DCSS offices. / Allen Carter

For a young person high school graduation is a big day, but for Latrell McDaniel that day fell flat. He was pulled out of the graduation line right before he walked across the stage.

"We went down the Civic Center down here in Albany, but when we got there they told me I would be able to walk due to the fact that I didn't have half a credit. I didn't get my diploma, I didn't walk," said McDaniel.

That was ten years ago, but he says the whole time he knew it was an error -- and that he had enough credits.

"I knew without a shadow of doubt, because being a senior getting ready to graduate you make sure you have everything you needed. I've done that times and times again," said McDaniel.

On several occasions, McDaniel says he went to district administrators asking for them to take a second look at his records. He wasn't able to make any headway until talking to a professor at Albany State University who then went to the top of the Dougherty County School System.

"I asked them to look into the requirements necessary to getting his high school diploma and it turns out this young man had met all the requirements," said DCSS superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree.

It was a graduation day mix up, that administrators say they wanted to set right.

"The Dougherty County School System is just that involved, we'll go back look at it. We're going to make things right where people have been wronged,' said Dr. Murfree.

On average, people without a high school diploma earn about 40 percent less money than those with one. It's something McDaniel knows firsthand.

"I haven't had a job that makes more than nine dollars an hour within the last ten years, due to the fact of me not having a diploma and trying to enter the military I couldn't do it," said McDaniel.

But he says he doesn't hold any grudges but wants to move forward and plans to enroll at Albany Technical College.

"All in all, I am pretty happy with the results, I am very happy. I am finally getting what I deserve," said McDaniel.