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Bismarck parent hurt by boards decision on saving a seat for her deceased son at graduation

Brandon Thomsen passed away in June of 2019 from asthma complications in his sophomore year.
Brandon Thomsen passed away in June of 2019 from asthma complications in his sophomore year.(kfyr)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 8:08 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A mother who asked the Bismarck School Board to save a seat for her deceased son at graduation didn’t get what she asked for.

Brandon Thomsen passed away in June of 2019 from asthma complications in his sophomore year.

This would have been the year he graduated, and his mother has asked the Bismarck School Board two weeks ago to honor him with a seat at the ceremony.

Tonight, she hoped to get an answer.

Superintendent Jason Hornbacher didn’t address her request specifically, but issued this statement on the board’s position.

“This process will be the main stay of graduation ceremonies into the future. Bismarck Public Schools does allow a bouquet of flowers on the stage for all to see and we’ve added additional processes and practices for all those in attendance,” said BPS superintendent Jason Hornbacher.

“So, it just sad that they didn’t want to take more of an effort to recognize those kids that should have been there and that were supposed to be there, instead of just making it this grand vague thing for everybody. That really just kind of was like more of a slap in the face,” said Brandon’s mother Becky Bjerklie.

Brandon’s sister Brooklyn Seime submitted a petition with the request to the high school, and so far, it’s received more than 2700 signatures.

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