AFRICANGLOBE – A High School student from Louisiana who selected to deliver the farewell statement at his graduation ceremony was banned from the commencement because he refused to shave off his beard.
Andrew Jones, who was elected valedictorian by his teachers, was stripped of his chance to walk the stage at his Amite High School graduation.
The 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 (May 18).
Jones was the only one who refused, because he said that rule was never enforced in the school before.
“Eventually they took my gown,” he recalled, “They told me they had to take my gown from me.”
The school district says it has a policy of no facial hair on male students. The superintendent said Jones and his family were reminded of the rule three times, including graduation night.
We uncovered two pictures of Jones from this school year, one at the school, one at the school board office, including the superintendent. Both show Jones with a beard from ear to ear.
“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.”