Viral TikTok shows crowd booing principal for trying to take Mexican flag off student’s back during graduation

The student is now reportedly being denied his diploma.


Alexandra Samuels


Published Jun 5, 2021   Updated Jun 7, 2021, 10:14 am CDT

A high school graduation crowd got rowdy after a principal tried to take a Mexican flag from a student walking the stage.

A TikTok video shows Ever Lopez wearing a Mexican flag on his back as he approaches a podium to receive his diploma. As he walks by, though, the principal attempts to remove the flag from his shoulders. 

When this fails, Lopez walks away. But news reports confirm Lopez was denied his diploma because of the incident.

Lopez told USA Today that the school administrators said he was causing a distraction. A statement from the school, however, said he was out of dress code. 

“The heart of the issue is the fact that the student did not follow the established dress code for the event and detracted from the importance and the solemnity of the ceremony,” read a statement from Asheboro City Schools. “Our dress code is in place to ensure the dignity of the event is upheld and is fair to all students. Graduation is a milestone event and it is grossly unfair for one individual to diminish this event by violating the dress code.”

Lopez said he wore the flag for his family, who “came over here to give me a better future.” He added that he was the first to graduate in his immediate family—so the flag held sentimental value.

The school, meanwhile, is now facing flak on social media for its handling of the incident. And Lopez’s supporters started a petition that now has over 70,000 signatures. According to USA Today, Asheboro City Schools is reevaluating its dress code now. 

“Now I feel joy because I have everybody supporting me,” Lopez said.

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*First Published: Jun 5, 2021, 11:19 am CDT