NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- She has no problem admitting to the title of "controversial classmate." Molly Gambardella voiced her frustrations to News 8 about not being able to give her speech as class president, now people in the community are saying she shouldn't get to graduate because of her attendance.
It's a smile Roz Gambardella says she's waited months to share with her daughter, Molly, who's graduating from North Haven High School.
"She was angry, she was sleeping all the time," Roz said, "she was very, very dark and we were concerned about her safety."
Her parents were so worried they let Molly, the class president, leave school in mid-March. In the days leading up to graduation, News 8 and the Superintendent of Schools have been bombarded with the question, "why should she graduate?"
"People are saying that because her grandmother is on the Board of Education that you've made an exception," said Dr. Robert Cronin. "We would do this, truly we look at every student individually and when requests come in we meet with the families, the students, it had nothing to do with her grandmother."
People question whether Molly left school to be involved with Occupy New Haven.
"Her attendance issue had nothing to do with Occupy New Haven," Cronin said.
"If anyone was going through something I was going through, I'd hope the school would allow them to do what I'm doing," Molly said. "I left because I was battling bulimia and Occupy happened to be there, and helped bring me back where I should be."
Her mother says she was hospitalized in September. Since then, she and Molly's dad have been in constant communication with the school. In late Spring, they decided it was best that the honor roll student complete her work at home.
"That's all we prayed for is that she's happy and safe," Roz said, "and that's where she is right now."
The school stands their ground that Molly won't be giving her speech as class president because she missed the deadline.
Molly says she's just happy to graduate and hopes people will learn from her experience that's been made public.
"Start finding something that will make you happy even if it isn't the status quo," Molly said.
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