Mexican Flag Worn At Graduation Caused Student's Diploma To Be Withheld

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 7, 2021

Lopez says when he got to the principal on stage, "She was like, 'You can not be wearing that, ' and I was like - I was in shock".

Adolfo Hurtado was filming his cousin, Ever Lopez, during the ceremony, watching him walk down the stage at Asheboro High School wearing a Mexican flag draped over his gown, when he appeared to get stopped by a faculty member.

Ever Lopez, 18, of Asheboro has inspired protest online and in front of Asheboro High after an incident at his graduation ceremony Thursday. But after walking across the stage, he was denied his actual diploma.

A North Carolina high school student was denied his diploma for wearing a Mexican flag over his graduation gown.

Asheboro City Schools said that the denial of Lopez's diploma was not due to the Mexican flag in particular, saying in a statement that the ordeal was due to the student being out of dress code.

Livestreamed video footage from the ceremony shows the principal ask him to take the flag off.

The principal, however, didn't hand over the diploma, and instead spoke to Lopez quietly, as a line of students waited behind him.

Asheboro High School principal Penny Crooks emailed students ahead of the ceremony, explaining the dress code, directing male students to wear a dress shirt and dress trousers, and female students to wear a dress, skirt, or dress trousers, adding that flip flops and sneakers are prohibited, reports the Courier-Tribune.

In an interview with The New York Times, Lopez said he wore the flag because he's proud of his Mexican roots.

Lopez and his parents were called to Principal Penny Crooks' office to speak about the incident and he was told he could receive his diploma if he apologized for the situation, the paper reported.

They stressed the incident was "not about the Mexican flag".

See the full statement from Ashboro City School.

"First and foremost, we strongly support our students' expressions of their heritage at the appropriate time and place". "Graduation is a milestone event and it is grossly unfair for one individual to diminish this event by violating the dress code". "Students were encouraged to express their identity by decorating their mortar boards".

Witnesses told local media that other students had decorated their caps and gowns but weren't reprimanded.

In a separate statement, officials said they "continue working to resolve this issue with the student and his family so that he will receive his diploma from Asheboro High School".

"I myself was very upset, and I had to contain my emotions because we're in a public area", Hurtado said. We are confident in his abilities and know that there is a bright future ahead of him.

The criticisms made about our school and district are disappointing. We work daily with each student to ensure that they receive rigorous instruction, fair opportunities and compassionate care in a safe and engaging learning environment. "Across our school and district, we are passionate about seeing all students succeed".

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