Morales said Siembra N.C
. has been advocating for Asheboro City Schools to change its rules after what happened to Lopez
. She said she is hopeful that school officials
, parents and students can have conversations that lead to policies that are more supportive of students of color
The district, 然而, defended its policy and said in a statement that students were “encouraged to express their identity by decorating their mortar boards. A number of students followed the protocol and had the Mexican flag and other representations appropriately displayed during the ceremony.”
洛佩兹, a first-generation high school graduate was allowed to pick up his diploma earlier this week at Asheboro High School. He said despite being denied his diploma at the ceremony, he has no regrets.
“I did what I had to do
, wear my flag and show my colors
,” Lopez said
, 根据 CNN affiliate WRAL
His cousin, Adolfo Hurtado, told CNN that “the Mexican flag wasn’t worn as a political statement, rather a symbolic gesture in appreciation to those who worked hard to give him a life he would be proud of.”
‘Policing Black joy’
One expert said disciplining students of color for how they celebrate graduation is a form of racial trauma
. Dorinda Carter Andrews
, chairperson and professor at the Michigan State University Department of Teacher Education
, said young people may feel humiliated by the experience and it could impact their cross cultural relationships
Andrews and a team of researchers at MSU found that Black students face higher rates of discipline
, including suspensions and expulsions
, at school than White students
Andrews said schools failing to understand the behaviors of students of color is a “function of White supremacy.”
“It’s an example of policing Black joy or policing the joy of students of color,” Andrews said. “There is this message that there is a certain way to celebrate, there’s a certain way to dress and if you don’t align with that then you’re penalized. That way is always steeped in White cultural norms.”
Peters said he was embarrassed that he had to wear Butler’s shoes — which were two sizes too big — when he crossed the stage.
He said the students were required to wear dark-colored dress shoes and not allowed to wear slippers, athletic shoes, or open-toe shoes. He thought his shoes matched the requirements.
Butler said he didn’t think it was fair that the school would punish Peters over his shoes.
“You don’t stop a kid from receiving his high school diploma, already the most important moment of their life to that point, you don’t take that away for something as small as shoes — and that’s exactly what was going to happen,” Butler said.
The incident with Peters inspired one Virginia teacher to share a TikTok video with different clips of Black graduates being stopped by school officials when they danced while crossing the stage at graduation
Kristina Button, a home schoolteacher, said this is “policing Black people’s accomplishments, and we have to stop doing it.”
Button said graduation is significant for many Black and brown families because they have faced oppression and poverty for so many generations.
学校, 她说, need to do away with rules that suppress how people of color celebrate their identity, their culture and beating the odds.
“It kind of squashes their self-esteem and the confidence that one, builds up,” Button said. “And I think there’s a level of trauma to that. If you understand the history of this country, 你懂, that it has everything to do with race.”
Oliver Telusma, who was among the University of Florida graduates kicked off stage in 2018, said he was shocked that he and his peers were treated that way. Telusma, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, 公司, said it’s common for Black fraternity members to do a short stroll, or dance, to honor their culture as they cross the stage.
He said it’s “令人失望的” to hear that high schools are punishing Black and Latino graduates at their commencements.
“It reflects the same type of excessive policing (from law enforcement) that Black people experience,” said Telusma, who graduated from law school this year.
Graduate escorted off stage in Texas
, the Texas student who waved the Mexican flag at graduation
, was denied her diploma and escorted out of the arena for her actions
. A teacher had also confiscated the Sarape-style stole she tried to wear
, Saucedo said
The school district, Southwest ISD, said in a statement that its graduation protocols prohibit “large disruptions such as props, 标志, somersaults, cartwheels, or other actions.” The district said it allows students to display their individuality by decorating their graduation caps.
Saucedo told CNN affiliate KSAT that she waved the flag because she wanted to make her parents proud
“I also did it for every parent out there who’s an immigrant and comes here to the United States to have a better life, not only for themselves but for their kids and the future grand kids and everybody else, so they can live the dream, the American dream,” Saucedo said.