But Asheboro High School student, who had the Mexican flag, smashed his shoulder as he walked onto the platform, saying he had been denied his graduation day. For wearing the flag.
The two talked, as the crowd bowed behind them, then López returned to sit with his hands raised in the air.
After graduation, when a student went to another exercise to receive a certificate, López was told he would not be allowed to take it because he “interrupted” the ceremony, according to Hurtado.
López received his diploma at school on Monday and held it in his head as he left the building. He was warmly welcomed by family members, friends and bookwriters, who came to the press conference outside the school.
“The Mexican flag is not being used as a political statement, rather as a symbolic gesture of appreciation to those who have worked hard for a life he will be proud of,” Hurtado told CNN.
“Our parents left most of their families and their lives behind and it was a difficult decision to make, and seeing him on his big day giving thanks is considered a celebratory moment, not only for our family, but for the other 50% of the Latino population at school,” sadly disturbed.
Issues that go beyond the upper class
The press conference was chaired by Kelly Morales, Director of the North Carolina Immigration Rights Program at the Friends of America Commission. She was joined by the López family.
In a statement on Monday acknowledging that López had received his diploma after the press conference, Asheboro City School said: “Like all graduates, we wish him good health and we will continue to serve our community in a way that gives full potential to all of them.”
The school district said in a statement Friday that the incident had taken place “There was a false response” on social media.
The area says students are encouraged to express their identities by decorating their students’ lime boards.
The problem was not just López who was rejected at his senior level, Hurtado said, but rather the “disrespectful news” incident sent to the Latino’s Asheboro community.
“We do not accept this excuse,” Hurtado said. “Schools can not determine whether there is discrimination or not. They are not in Ever’s shoes. They do not have the life experience that the Latino community has to live with for the rest of their lives.”
Morales translated for Ever’s mother, Margarita López, who said her family was seeking an apology and an explanation from the director as to why she was handling the situation.
Margarita said she and her husband attended the graduation ceremony last week with great pride, but were thrilled to see the principal stop her son on stage.
“Examples of local discrimination are why students of color should be encouraged to show pride in themselves and their heritage,” Morales told a news conference.
“But there was no fear. His friends were not afraid. All of us under the age of four of this last president were not intimidated,” she said. “We should applaud students like Ever who risk being openly proud of who they are and where they come from.”
The family said they did not share information with those who harassed or harassed key staff or school staff.
CNN’s Hannah Sarisohn and CNN’s David Williams contributed to this report.