Melting Pot or Salad Bowl? American High School Denies Student Diploma for Celebrating Roots

Published June 7th, 2021 - 07:35 GMT
Asheboro City School graduation
(Twitter: @mymixtapez)

An online conversation has been heated over an incident in which a high school student was denied receiving his diploma for wearing the Mexican flag during the graduation ceremony.

Getting onto the stage to celebrate finishing high school, Ever Lopez was wearing the Mexican flag over his graduation gown, in celebration of his ancestral home. However, videos from the ceremony showed the school's principal as he tried to talk Lopez into taking the flag off before he was reportedly denied receiving the diploma.

The incident, that took place in North Carolina's Asheboro City School, has triggered numerous online debates on the reason the school did not want the Mexican flag to be featured during the ceremony.

However, the school stated that Lopez had violated the dress code which bans wearing any country's flags to avoid "being detracted from the importance and the solemnity of the ceremony," stressing that their decision "is not racist."

Lopez's family and friends strongly believed it was a statement against the Latino community in the US, which is "not encouraged to celebrate its ancestral culture."

While a number of students and locals of Asheboro, North Carolina protested the school's decision by assembling near the school wearing Mexican flags, many online debates have questioned whether immigrants into the US are allowed to celebrate their roots and culture in "a salad bowl" format as opposed to the formerly common concept of "the melting pot!"

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