School policies criticized after Black, Latino graduates were blocked from crossing the stage with flags and designer shoes
June 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 16.4%. 1 min read.
Devarius Peters wanted to celebrate graduation day wearing a pair of Black leather Alexander McQueen shoes. Ashley Saucedo and Ever Lopez, both graduates of different schools in different states, wanted to carry the Mexican flag to honor their roots.
Many Latino students are the first in their families to graduate and have endured being criminalized, fought to stay out of the school-to-prison pipeline and had to work jobs to support their families while trying to finish school, said Kelly Morales, executive director of Siembra N. C. , a grassroots organization that advocates for the Latino community.
She said she is hopeful that school officials, parents and students can have conversations that lead to policies that are more supportive of students of color.
One expert said disciplining students of color for how they celebrate graduation is a form of racial trauma.
Andrews said schools failing to understand the behaviors of students of color is a "function of White supremacy. "
He said it's "disappointing" to hear that high schools are punishing Black and Latino graduates at their commencements.
"It reflects the same type of excessive policing (from law enforcement) that Black people experience," said Telusma, who graduated from law school this year.
The school district, Southwest ISD, said in a statement that its graduation protocols prohibit "large disruptions such as props, flags, somersaults, cartwheels, or other actions. " The district said it allows students to display their individuality by decorating their graduation caps.