Well, one Louisiana teen who graduated at the top of his class, didn’t get to relish in the special moment of commemorating his hard work for the past four years. Andrew Jones of Amite High School was named the valedictorian of the 2016 graduating class, but because his facial hair was against the school’s rules, he missed out on the event.
Jones spoke to the New York Daily News, explaining that school officials told him and 13 other students that in order to participate in the ceremony on Wednesday evening they’d have to shave their facial hair. Andrew refused to shave his goatee that he had during the duration of his four years at the school due to the fact that the rule had not been enforced any other time. In response, the school took away both his cap and gown.
Photo Credit: WLTX 19 News
Tangipahoa Schools Superintendent Mark Kolwe, told WVUE that Jones had been warned about his beard and the policy several times, even personally making an appeal to get him to cut it. The local outlet also reported that the NAACP has gotten involved in the situation. Patricia Morris, the group’s Tangipahoa chapter president, said the refusal to let the young man march was “just wrong,” alluding to the fact that were was likely “something deeper” behind the incident than just a facial hair policy.