TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A state representative and local pastor have joined together to give Amite High School's top student a graduation ceremony after he was not allowed to participate in the one with the rest of his classmates.
Andrew Jones refused to shave his beard. Tangipahoa Parish school officials say Jones was warned that if he didn't shave he would not be allowed to walk on stage during the May 2016 graduation. School officials say they even provided a razor on graduation night and urged Jones to shave, but he refused.
The incident gained a lot of attention because Jones was to graduate at the top of Amite High School's 2016 class.
"Mr. Jones maintained a 4.0 grade point average, participated in football and basketball while also working part-time," Rep. Katrina Jackson said. "He had a beard all year long, and it was not an issue. That is very unfortunate, and we're going to give him the opportunity to experience the graduation that he worked hard to achieve."
Jackson along with Pastor Roosevelt Wright, III will host a graduation ceremony for Jones. It will be held June 17 at 7 p.m. at the African-American Heritage Museum, 1600 Phoenix Square in Hammond.
The ceremony is open to the public. Jackson and Pastor Roosevelt have also invited any 2016 high school graduate who would like to walk across the stage with Jones to join the ceremony. Graduates need to call 318-362-5123.