Asheboro High School student denied diploma for wearing Mexican flag at graduation to receive his diploma Monday

Piedmont Triad News

ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — An 18-year-old will get his diploma Monday in the wake of controversy after his school withheld his diploma because he violated the school’s graduation dress code. The teen wore a Mexican flag during the ceremony.

Some unmarked patrol cars were in the area Monday morning amid an investigation into 10 email threats, including one to shoot up the school if Ever Lopez did not get his diploma.

District officials say 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,” Lopez 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?” 

According to witness video, Lopez was wearing a Mexican flag over his gown 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.

According to the school, wearing a flag of any kind was against the dress code for the graduation ceremony. The only exception was for students to decorate the top of their caps.

The school is now reevaluating that policy for future classes. Lopez hopes the school will reconsider allowing students to wear flags honoring their heritage during graduation ceremonies.

Lopez is planning to speak during a news conference outside of Asheboro High School at 11 a.m. Monday.

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