A Black student was forced to take off his Black Lives Matter face mask in order to graduate, his family says.
Dean Holmes, a student at York Catholic High School in York, Pennsylvania, put on a Black Lives Matter mask under his face shield at his July 28 graduation ceremony.
As students lined up before the ceremony started, the school’s principal pulled him away in front of other students and told him to take off the mask, Holmes told CNN. Holmes had previously been told by another school official to take the mask off, so he eventually relented for fear to not being able to walk across the stage, he said.
“I was so mad. I was shaking during the graduation, tapping my leg on edge…when it was over, I couldn’t believe it,” said Holmes. York Catholic had opted to give every student a face shield instead of a mask for the ceremony.
Holmes’s father, John, took to Facebook on Saturday saying that the school stifled his freedom of expression and jeopardized his health.
” … the capricious action taken against my son demonstrates that York Catholic High School has miles to go before they can put the ugliness of unconscious bias and racism to sleep. As a parent I will not stand for my son being humiliated publicly, having his basic human dignity crushed on what should have been one of the happiest days of his young life,” he wrote in the post.
Both he and his wife were also wearing Black Lives Matter masks during the ceremony, he told CNN.