Update: In a follow up email, Southwest Independent School District said that Ashley Saucedo received her diploma Monday morning after she and her parents met with administration over the “disruption.”
“The student was never told they would not receive the diploma,” district spokeswoman Janice Carpio-Hernandez said.
Southwest Independent School District has attracted national attention after a student displayed a Mexican flag while walking the stage to receive her diploma on Saturday, and was later escorted out of the ceremony, without a diploma.
Though Ashley Saucedo’s graduation moment was removed from the live feed of the ceremony on Facebook and YouTube, a clip lives on Twitter, where it has garnered thousands of reactions after the Southwest Legacy High School graduate alleged she was not given her diploma.
“As many of you know I didn’t get my diploma , and my part of the ceremony got taken out because I took out a Mexico flag when walking the stage,” she tweeted. “After walking the stage they handed me my diploma and then took it away from me and kicked me out of the Alamodome then I was told if I went back in I was going to be arrested and of course I didn’t resist. I feel like this is so unnecessary due to the fact that showing my pride and love for the country I love, and the school / district not allowing this is considered racist to me and my people.”
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Saucedo recognized the rules set out by the district for the ceremony, but questioned why the actions or outfits of her classmates, which also appeared in violation of the policy, were not met with equal disciplinary action. In the graduation video, students are seen doing the occasional jig, and breaking dress code, wearing jeans instead of the required dress pants.
Saucedo was not immediately available for comment. A Change petition was launched, asking the district to apologize to Saucedo and return her diploma. It’s racked up more than 450 signatures as of this writing.
District Spokeswoman Janice Carpio-Hernandez said the student was never told she would not get her diploma. She also explained the onstage policy for graduation ceremonies.
As many of you know I didn’t get my diploma , and my part of the ceremony got taken out because I took out a Mexico flag when walking the stage . After walking the stage they handed me my diploma and then took it away from me and kicked me out of the Alamodome then I was told if pic.twitter.com/JUaJ8UVBBZ
— ashley saguez (@AshleySaguez) June 6, 2021
“We support all students who want to display pride in their heritage and culture. Last year, we started allowing student individuality such as decoration of graduation caps, which many students did,” she said in a comment. “Despite the disruption of graduation, the student was never informed they would not receive their diploma.”
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The spokeswoman said the rules are in place to keep the ceremony “dignified without large disruptions.”
“All seniors who attend their commencement ceremony are made aware that breaking these protocols could lead to consequences affecting their participation for the remainder of the ceremony,” she said.
Carpio-Hernandez also denied the arrest claim.
“The student was never told they would be arrested,” she said. “Yes, the clip of the disruptive behavior was removed but the family will receive the original clip.”
The local controversy comes on the heels of a similar situation which occurred days earlier in Asheboro, N.C., where Ever Lopez said he was denied his diploma for draping the Mexican flag over his graduation garb. National media outlets like Good Morning America are now including Saucedo’s story in the coverage of the North Carolina situation.
Source : chron.com