ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — An 18-year-old North Carolina student denied a diploma last week for draping a Mexican flag over his gown was met with applause Monday when he walked out of Asheboro High School in street clothes, his diploma held high.
According to witness video, Ever López was wearing the flag when he walked across the stage on Thursday and received his diploma holder. But when he went to retrieve his actual diploma, he was refused and allegedly told he had to apologize.
When López went to get his diploma after the ceremony, he was denied. The school says he violated a part of the graduation dress code which prohibits students from wearing any kind of flags during the ceremony. The only exception was for students to decorate the tops of their caps.
Video of the incident sparked outcry from members of the community who say that López should have received his diploma with the other students.
The school is now reevaluating that policy for future classes. López hopes the school will reconsider and allow students to wear flags honoring their heritage during graduation ceremonies.
Some unmarked patrol cars were in the area Monday morning amid an investigation into multiple email threats, including one to shoot up the school if Ever López did not get his diploma.
District officials said the diploma has been available since Friday.
The teenager says that, while he appreciates the show of support, the attacks against the principal should stop.
“If you were going to send her an email or say something, at least leave threatful things out,” López said. “Don’t make it harmful for them to think that we need to get shelter or call the cops to protect her or something. I just feel like they should respect her even though she did something wrong, you know?”