A North Carolina High School failed to present Ever Lopez with his diploma after he draped a Mexican flag over his graduation gown at the ceremony on June 3rd.
Asheboro School District held their graduation ceremony last week to honor the class of 2021. However, not every student received the diploma that they had worked so hard to receive.
Ever Lopez is the first member of his immediate family to graduate high school. To honor his Mexican roots, Lopez draped the red, white, and green flag over his graduation gown. He sat in his chair and waited his turn just like everyone else.
When his name was finally called, Lopez stepped on to the stage. There, Principal Penny Crooks asked him to remove the flag. Lopez was not able to remove the flag from his gown. For this reason, he was denied his diploma.
The events of that day were captured by Lopez’s cousin and posted on TikTok. In another video that can be seen here, Lopez’s friends and family confront the principal about her decision. Crooks told the crowd that Lopez and his family could return to the school the next day and discuss it then.
Lopez left the school that night without his diploma. Since then, a series of statements have been posted on the school district’s website. The statements said that the situation was misinterpreted and was not about the Mexican flag at all.
“Our dress code is in place to ensure the dignity of the event is upheld and is fair to all students,” the district said on June 4th. “Graduation is a milestone event and it is grossly unfair for one individual to diminish this event by violating the dress code.”
Many were not satisfied with the school’s explanation. The day after the ceremony, Lopez and his supporters attended a protest in front of the school to demand that Lopez be given his diploma.
Despite the school’s statement that they work to provide “compassionate care” to their diverse body of students, it is unclear if Lopez received his diploma when this story was published.