SAN ANTONIO – It’s a moment that every high school senior anxiously awaits -- the opportunity to walk across the stage and receive their diploma.
For Ashley Saucedo, a graduate of Southwest Legacy High School, the pomp and circumstance were cut short. Saucedo said she was escorted out of the Alamodome on Saturday, June 5, after displaying the Mexican Flag during her graduation ceremony.
She said the portion of her walking across the stage was edited out of the graduation video.
Saucedo said she hoped the flag would make her parents proud.
“I also did it for every parent out there who’s an immigrant and comes here to the United States to have a better life, not only for themselves but for their kids and the future grandkids and everybody else, so they can live the dream, the American dream,” said Saucedo.
Saucedo said she also wasn’t allowed to wear a Sarape-style stole. She adds that a teacher took it away from her.
We reached out to Southwest ISD, who provided the following statement:
“The campus and district take great pride in organizing a memorable commencement ceremony for all 450 seniors and their families. It is for this reason that protocols are applied to ensure events, such as graduation, remain dignified without large disruptions such as props, flags, somersaults, cartwheels, or other actions. All seniors who attend their commencement ceremony are made aware that breaking these protocols could lead to consequences affecting their participation for the remainder of the ceremony.
We support all students who want to display pride in their heritage and culture. Last year, we started allowing student individuality such as the decoration of graduation caps, which many students did. Despite the disruption of graduation, the student was never informed they would not receive their diploma.”
Saucedo said she understands she broke protocol but she never imagined the extent the school would take to ensure her participation at graduation would be cut short.
“I believe in my opinion, if I would have had taken out a Texas flag, an American flag, the school would have taken way differently,” said Saucedo.
She added she has yet to receive her diploma. The school didn’t specify when she would receive it.
“I deserve an apology, not only me, but my family and everybody else who was offended about it, because it’s not fair that everybody else got their diploma, didn’t follow the contract rules, and they got it and I didn’t,” said Saucedo.