A High School Student Was Removed From His Graduation By Police For Wearing A Kente Cloth

Contributing Writer
05.28.16 17 Comments

Nyree Holmes

A California high school student was forcibly removed from his own graduation for wearing a kente cloth around his shoulders as he crossed the stage.

18-year-old Elk Grove resident Nyree Holmes’ shared the story of how he was removed by three deputies from his graduation ceremony at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacremento on Twitter May 24th, and it’s quickly gone viral. According to Holmes, he wanted to wear the bright, multi-colored cloth that was originally crafted for Ashanti royalty but has become a worldwide symbol of African pride, “as a representation of my pride in my ancestors, to display my cultural and religious heritage.”

However, after Holmes refused to remove the cloth and walked across the stage wearing it, he was met by several sheriff’s deputies who walked him out of the ceremony. According to Holmes, he had to be surreptitiously let back into the arena by a security guard to collect his diploma and return his cap and gown.

Check out the story in full below:

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter

After the incident gained traction online, the Elk Grove Unified School District responded with a statement.

“During a high school graduation ceremony held at the Sleep Train Arena located in Sacramento, CA on May 24, 2016, a Cosumnes Oaks High School (COHS) student was prohibited from participating in the remainder of the school’s graduation ceremony for refusing to follow direction of school officials who were attempting to uphold the established dress code and for ignoring repeated requests to remove unauthorized non-school award regalia…The District’s approved graduation uniform is a cap and gown. Students may wear, stoles, cords or medals that have been earned and awarded to students at prior ceremonies. Unfortunately, prior to the COHS graduation ceremony, school officials were not given the opportunity to discuss with the family the student’s desire to wear the cloth.”

Holmes has since deleted the original story but continues to retweet supporters and respond to people trying to derail his argument.

That is a Class A counter. Someone pulled a military card and Holmes skipped right past it. Can’t blame him, though, Holmes can’t afford to get bogged down in this story as he’s heading off to California State University-Fullerton to pursue a degree in film.

(Via Atlanta Black Star)

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