A school district has responded after initially denying a student his diploma after he wore a Mexican flag to graduation.
Video quickly circulated on TikTok and other platforms of 18-year-old Ever Lopez, a student at Asheboro High School, who was reportedly not allowed to receive his diploma after decorating his traditional cap and gown with a Mexican flag.
The school said the flag violated the ceremony’s dress code, resulting in the discipline.
In the shared video, Lopez and supporting students can be seen being “shooed out,” according to text explaining the situation. Policemen are seen moving this process along.
The student is of Mexican heritage, according to captions on the vide.
“THIS IS RACISM,” the TikTok captions added.
On Friday, students in support of Lopez appeared to stage a protest at the high school, according to a series of tweets shared by WXII reporter Lee Anne Denyer. The students carried Mexican flags in support, and made signs that say “FREE EVER’S DIPLOMA.”
“It’s crazy. I didn’t expect for all this to happen,” Lopez told Denyer. “It happened so quickly. It’s all love.”
“Hopefully things happen and I get my diploma,” he added.
The protest comes on the same day Asheboro City Schools released a statement addressing the incident, saying they “strongly support our students’ expressions of their heritage in the appropriate time and place,” and saying they would work with “the student and his family so that he will receive his diploma from Asheboro High School.”
The statement also said the school would reevaluate their dress code, which previously allowed for some deviation, in light of the event, suggesting the code might become more strict.
But Lopez told WXII that he hopes the school takes the opposite route, loosening the dress code.
“Let us be ourselves,” he said.