Black Male Valedictorian, Straight A Student, Barred from Walking Grad Stage in LA

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones

*Apparently, another surprise has popped up in the this-don’t-make-no-damn-sense universe. And the shameful part is its under the auspices of “education.” Anytime a student, namely, Andrew Jones, someone who has never made less than an “A” during his entire four years at Amite High School, gets barred from walking the stage at his own high school graduation because he didn’t shave his goatee…well, how can it be described as anything other than a SMDH moment.

I suppose a WTF? would apply here too.

The young father, and sports enthusiast, who landed a football scholarship at Southeastern, could only respond that he felt “hurted” [sic] when the CNN reporter asked how he felt after school officials took his cap and gown away from him…on the morning of graduation.

The school had previously requested a group of students shave their facial hair prior to graduation.

“They told us at the morning of graduation,” Jones told the reporter. “But I seen other schools that graduated before us, and all they students had this, and they still graduated” Jones said, stroking the goatee he decided to keep after shaving off the sides of his beard.

The awkward part of all this is that Jones has had his facial hair all throughout his school tenure, and no big deal was ever made of it.

“I went all four years with it,” the obviously hurt student told the media.

And how do you make amends with something like this. This is a moment that can’t be duplicated…graduating with his ‘original’ class can only happen once.

*Please be advised: A ‘Call to Action’ is at the end of this article*

Requests for an interview with the Amite High principal was declined. And superintendent Mark Coley told CNN affiliate WVUE that he “could not answer for what school administrators did previously.”

In this CNN video,  the superintendent did add that the school district has a “policy that male students must be clean-shaven” and added that “Jones was denied the stage after Coley himself personally tried to get Jones to shave.”

Jones is not impressed, to say the least.

“I feel they should’ve let me march. What I did with my hair on my face has nothing to do with school. I wasn’t distracting nobody.”

An unidentified woman standing next to the student in the video, who supported Jones and may have even been a relative said, “They need to check themselves. Poor administration.”


I hope the day comes, during my lifetime, that as much attention is placed on a public school students quality education, than it is on how that student looks.


EURThisNthat readers, we’ve done this before and it has made a difference, so let’s let our voices be heard in support of this student; in which we are so very proud, by sharing the hashtag: #wesupportstudentandrewjonesfacialhairandall

3 thoughts on “Black Male Valedictorian, Straight A Student, Barred from Walking Grad Stage in LA”

  1. The question that needs to asked and answered is; was there a School District Policy in place for all students to have no facial hair NOT just for graduation but the entire year. If so, were the students made aware by the policy being enforced at the beginning of the school year. Or was this decided as graduation approached for this senior class. Making a policy mid stream or during the year is a foul by the school board. Most school boards review and update school policies at the beginning of each year so changes can be published and released to parents and students when school begins. Any deviations from this practice should be rare and for significant issues. I just don’t see facial hair being a significant event to warrant a decision change like this.

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