Deputies Remove Teen From Graduation for Wearing African Cloth

He says he just wanted to represent his culture
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2016 2:15 PM CDT
A Kente prestige cloth, early to mid-20th century, made in Ghana.   (Matt Flynn/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum via AP)

(Newser) – A black teenager says he was escorted out of his high school graduation ceremony in Sacramento by three deputies for refusing to remove his kente cloth, a traditional Ghanaian silk and cotton fabric, the AP reports. Nyree Holmes said Saturday he wore the decorative cloth atop his graduation robes to have something that represented his culture during the ceremony Tuesday. The 18-year-old student from Cosumnes Oaks High School says the school's student activities director told him he was violating graduation dress requirements. He says he tried to have a dialogue with him, but he wouldn't and instead tried to prevent him from walking onstage and called authorities. Holmes says that when he got off stage, there were three sheriff's deputies waiting to escort him out. He says the school principal met with his parents and apologized for the incident. (Read more high school graduation stories.)

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