TOPEKA (KSNT) – Controversy has surfaced at a local high school after a request from students to honor two classmates who died allegedly received pushback from the school’s administration. The district’s superintendent, however, tells 27 News they are working with the students.

Jefferson West High School students said they are trying to honor two of their own who died: Kyler Postma, who died in a car crash in 2020, and Case Clare, according to an organizer of the student request. The dedication to the two students was put forward initially as setting aside two empty chairs during the 2022 graduation ceremony.

According to a petition on Change.org, organizers claim the school’s administration has pushed against this idea and given multiple excuses as to why this cannot be done. The petition, which was only created within the past 24 hours, has already received over 2,000 signatures and is nearing its goal of 2,500, as of Thursday afternoon.

“These were our classmates and friends,” the petition reads. “We want to honor them at what would’ve been their graduation as well.”

27 News spoke with Happer about the situation and he confirmed that the school’s administration is aware of the petition from students and is working with the senior class plus class officers to coordinate some form of recognition for the two students during the graduation ceremony on May 15. He later said that nothing has been set in stone yet, but they should have plans ready by Friday.

To view the petition for the two students, go to Change.org here.