Should a high school student have been denied his diploma because he wore a Mexican flag to the graduation ceremony? Did he have a First Amendment right to wear the flag? Read the following report and decide.
“A North Carolina high school graduate was reportedly denied his diploma for wearing a Mexican flag in violation of the school’s dress code,” according to the New York Post. [emphasis added]
“Ever Lopez, who is Mexican American, draped a Mexican flag over his gown at Asheboro High School’s graduation ceremony in May, prompting the principal to ask him to take the flag off, video of the ceremony shows.
“The student tried but was unable to take the flag off — and then was denied his diploma after the ceremonial walk down the stage, according to ABC.
“‘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,” Lopez, who is the first person in his immediate family to graduate from high school, told the outlet. And I was in shock and confused. I was like, ‘What?’ She was like, ‘The flag. You can’t wear that.’
“‘It means everything to me,’ he said, according to ABC.
“‘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.’
“Lopez has not yet received his diploma, ABC reported. He said the school has asked him to apologize in order to receive it.
“Meanwhile, the school district said that it supports students’ ‘expressions of their heritage in the appropriate time and place’ — but insisted donning the Mexican flag ‘violated the ceremony’s dress code.'” [emphasis added]
For more of this report, go to the New York Post.
Please share your thoughts about what should’ve happened to this student by emailing [email protected]. In your opinion, was it right to deny the student his diploma? Is there a 1st Amendment issue here? Should he apologize?
— New York Post (@nypost) June 6, 2021