Many seniors graduated this week and something strange happened in North Carolina where a student was denied a diploma for wearing a Mexican flag over their gown. Normally every year we see people wearing all types of flags during graduation. However in the case of Ever Lopez he was denied his diploma on his graduation day.
Lopez said, “When I got up there I went for the handshake and I wasn’t thinking nothing of it and I heard her say, ‘You can’t wear that.’ And I was in shock and confused. I was like, ‘What?’ She was like, ‘The flag. You can’t wear that.'” This was obviously a shock to Lopez and it attracted attention all over the world.
The incident has sparked outrage and led to a protest outside the school Friday. However, the school district insists that Lopez’s actions “violated the ceremony’s dress code” and “the incident is not about the Mexican flag.”
He also said, “It means everything to me, my parents, my whole family, is from over there. I did it for them because they had a rough childhood; they didn’t get the scholarship that I got, or they didn’t get to go to school like I did. So representing my flag and getting a diploma was really important to me because I was basically doing it for my family.”
Even after all the outrage shown by the public the school asked Lopez to apologize for wearing the flag to school.
Afterward, Lopez’s family was escorted off the school property “after a request was made by Principal [Penny] Crooks,” Asheboro police confirmed the police officers were working the graduation in “an approved off-duty capacity.”
The incident is still going on as Lopez still has not received his diploma. The incident went viral all over social media and he received a lot of support from the online community.
On Friday, a group of around 30 people gathered outside the high school to show support for Lopez, demanding he receive his diploma. An online petition has also garnered more than 73,000 signatures as of Saturday afternoon.
Although there was a slight violation of a dress code I do not believe that schools should escalate the incident to halting diplomas during such a important day. With the support of news companies and youth activists Lopez will sure receive his diploma soon.