Protest planned in support of Amite High valedictorian not allowed to walk

A rally is planned in response to what some are calling unfair treatment of the valedictorian of Amite High School.

The Tangipahoa chapter of the NAACP confirmed they are planning a rally at 2 p.m. Monday, May 23, outside the Tangipahoa Parish School Board Office.

They are calling for members of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board to step down in response to what they feel has been unfair treatment of Amite High’s valedictorian, Andrew Jones.

Jones had a 4.0 grade point average and was a standout athlete, but was denied participation in the school’s graduation ceremonies because he refused to shave off a goatee. Jones said he’d worn the facial hair all year, and was never told he needed to shave until graduation.

The school district said it has a policy against facial hair on students, and the superintendent said Jones was told on three occasions that he could not take part in graduation ceremonies unless he shaved the goatee.

The NAACP said it has discovered photos of white students with beards participating in previous commencement ceremonies at Amite High.  Jones is African-American.

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