The valedictorian at a Louisiana high school was not allowed to participate because he took a stand over his goatee.
Andrew Jones,the head of his class at Amite High School, was not allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony because he refused to shave his beard.
Jones came out tops in his class and was meat to deliver the valedictory speech,but the school said that what’s on his chin violated the policy against facial hair, according to WWLTV.
The 4.0 student had worn his beard for four years, but he and 13 others were told that they had to shave after arriving at their graduation ceremony Wednesday night.
They were told if they didn’t go in the bathroom to shave, they couldn’t participate with the class. Jones was the only one who refused, because he said that rule was never enforced before.
Jones refused because the rule had never been enforced before, and his cap and gown were taken away.He stands by his decision, though realizes that he will never get to have another high school graduation.
Eventually they took my gown”They told me they had to take my gown from me.”It don’t make sense, every day of school I went with it, even more, I did shave,” said Jones, “I had like sides and everything, but I shaved that for graduation.”
“What was the real issue that he couldn’t walk with his class?” asked Sabrina Davis, Jones’ aunt. “He was top of his class, you know, that moment was the most important moment of his life.”
Tangipahoa Schools Superintendent Mark Kolwe, who said that Jones had been warned about the policy multiple time, told WVUE said that he personally made an appeal to get the student to shed his scruff to no avail.
The superintendent said that the principal at Amite High was unavailable to answer as to why the student was allowed to have a beard throughout the school year, but not on graduation.