School bars valedictorian from graduation because of beard he had all year

I’m puzzled why a Louisiana high school chose graduation to enforce a dress code rule banning facial hair when it apparently ignored the rule all year.

That selective enforcement of the school dress code meant the valedictorian of Amite High School did not walk across the stage to receive his diploma with his class because he wouldn’t shed his beard. The local news station found photos of top Amite student Andrew Jones with his beard during the school year, including one taken at the school board office with the superintendent.

Why are some schools overly focused on controlling how students look? This young man’s neatly trimmed beard is not dangerous or distracting. Take a look at this news report and see what you think:

Reader Comments 0

209 comments
eulb
eulb

Andrew Jones is now known all over the U.S. and is more admired than he would have been if he had shaved his chin, delivered his speech, and received the customary applause.  

Amite High School's rising seniors watched all of this, right?  So what do you expect them to do?

I predict males will spend the summer trying to grow enough facial hair to violate the school's rule by opening day. ;-)

Sue Jane Brooks Eason
Sue Jane Brooks Eason

I don't care what graduation it was. He worked hard to wind up valedictorian. His beard is neat and if i was his parents I'd be mad as hell. What is wrong with school personal. We hear these silly things all the time.

eulb
eulb

As valedictorian, was Andrew Jones scheduled to give a speech at graduation?  I'd love to know what he had planned to say. 

Noemead Semloh
Noemead Semloh

As usual we are focused on the wrong thing. Smh.......

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

If he was of the other color persuasion they would have allowed him to walk across that stage. Can't be of color and the smartest of the graduating class at the same time.

Trudy McElroy
Trudy McElroy

Young man had a 4.0 GPA, shame on this school! They can't take the grade/honor away from you! Find a way to walk! It would/should take one teacher that cares to get you on the stage! Or two/three students that could camouflage you between them!

Mattie J. Riggins
Mattie J. Riggins

I guess the school had those valedictorian honors slated for someone else.

Hydie Lamm
Hydie Lamm

I think he's a good looking young man.

Yorker Johnson
Yorker Johnson

ARE. THERE WHITE STUDENTS THAT HAVE FACIAL HAIR WHAT IS THIS CRAZY FOOLISH GOING ON

Jonathan Hemrich
Jonathan Hemrich

He is fine and the beard looks good! More power to him! Let this man graduate high school!

Karl M Anderson
Karl M Anderson

Why is this even a rule? Are beards not natural for most men? I was born here and am not sure if I could or how to leave this country which I'm sure many will tell me to do after I say this. Our society sucks more and more each passing day it seems.

eulb
eulb

Here's an oddity published the same day as Amite HS graduation: photos of the Amite graduates in their caps, gowns, and beards.   http://tinyurl.com/jhwy2bh     Apparently the facial hair rule was not enforced on picture day.

Sorry Andrew Jones was not permitted to walk across the stage with that goatee.  The silver lining is that a whole lot of people who would otherwise never know about him will now have a favorable opinion of him.  Doors will open for him.  His friends who shaved just before graduation may wish they hadn't.

Reynaldo Beckford
Reynaldo Beckford

Is not the school. Is the folks that are in power. Their main goal is to control the way a certain race should look, speak and do things. Is all about controlling.

Reeco Banner
Reeco Banner

But if he wore lipstick he'd be accepted and exalted... Sick society!

Nene Wilson
Nene Wilson

This is so stupid!! Jesus is coming back, to judge ALL!!!

Angela Hayes
Angela Hayes

He looks like my son with the beard. He's only 15

FlaTony
FlaTony

This is an example of a ridiculous rule that really has no reason for existence. Then, to enforce in this manner makes matters worse. Schools should be focused on academic excellence rather than trivial matters like facial hair. To me, it doesn't matter if the young man was aware of the rule or not. It does matter that the school lost sight of its mission.

Patricia Lane
Patricia Lane

He knew the rules, they weren't just for him but for everybody. What happened to him was his own fault

Julie Miller Stewart
Julie Miller Stewart

Kids dont need rules and guidelines to help well round them in society... Let them do what they choose. And parents should always enable them. GOod plan.

Arlene Schaper
Arlene Schaper

We are trying to bring them up to make decisions for themselves and then we treat them like they can't. He is apparently a very bright young man. Facial hair doesn't take that away, let him graduate! Besides, it didn't just show up, he's had it at school, he should be able to have it at the ceremony!

Burta Fitch
Burta Fitch

I hope he Sue's the school system. They're concentrating on wrong thing. I bet his GPA says something different. Valedictorian speaks volume by itself .

David Gruneisen
David Gruneisen

Welcome to the real world. As an adult with a real job there are countless rules that may seem antiquated but are in full effect. No one cares about your personal anything - at all. There is an endless stream of applicants eager to fill every position. You don't have to follow the rules and they don't have to hire you.

Barnet Rosenthal
Barnet Rosenthal

Control freak administrators. I wish all his fellow students would stand up for him and not show up for graduation.

Marana Olson McMahon
Marana Olson McMahon

From what I understand, to be awarded valedictorian means the individual earned the distinction by being/doing better, academically, for their entire high school career than anyone else. Its the highest honor bestowed on a student. This young man earned this distinction and his accomplishment should not be trivialized because of his (well groomed) facial hair. The school officials, in my opinion, are focusing on the wrong thing. They are being petty and small minded. I hope this exceptional young man can put this behind him and continue to go on to do extraordinary things with his life.

Kevin Shields
Kevin Shields

On one hand I feel for the kid.. on the other...he admits it was a policy and he knew it....

Shar Tina Lynn
Shar Tina Lynn

He has a academic and sports scholarship and is a FATHER! Wow! Rick Ross has beard not him!

Ray Warren
Ray Warren

He knew it was against the dress code, yet he wore it for a whole year. Why is he surprised?

Ray Warren
Ray Warren

Audrey Usher Wilson listen to the report, he was warned three separate times. Several other young men had no problem obeying the rules.

Audrey Usher Wilson
Audrey Usher Wilson

It was not against school dress code, only graduation code. As class valedictorian, he should have set a better example!!

Ray Warren
Ray Warren

Audrey then that's what he should say, instead of whining and crying. He should say "my friends obeyed the rules, even though they didn't like them, however I refuse to obey rules I don't agree with." You must be a proud poppa!!!! Education is the key to a great life and she appears to be on her well on her way... Congrats

Audrey Usher Wilson
Audrey Usher Wilson

Ray... I agree with you. I think that he might want to learn how to obey rules or it might all be for nothing. My daughter just finished freshman year at UGA & I'm very proud!

Audrey Usher Wilson
Audrey Usher Wilson

Ray Warren: I listened to the report. Perhaps this young man wanted to be the one to "stand" for change!! This young man barely has facial hair! He is very neat and presentable. Maybe the school should review the graduation dress code & I'm certain this young man has added that to the agenda! I just graduated a valedictorian with a 4.2 GPA & she was accepted at some 60 colleges! This part of his life is done & now on to the next level!

Ross Olivia
Ross Olivia

STupid School.... Let the guy graduate. It is not distracting and it has been part of the his personality for more than a year.

Dianne Bell
Dianne Bell

I think you should look perfessional. But that has changed unfortunately.

Susan Fall
Susan Fall

I guess they needed to send a message about what's really important.

Maxine Arlene
Maxine Arlene

Ashame, what about those who's walking around wit their pants hanging off their a**. Did you punish them? Come on now. That's not fair.

Susan Harrington
Susan Harrington

What kind of nonsense is this? Has the entire country gone berserk? (Yes.)

Jennifer Jackson
Jennifer Jackson

Are they serious???? Nah, it's not how he looks as far as facial hair and his dreads alone. Why can't they see that the kids these days are maturing way faster than they used to. I never thought in my life it would get this bad in the world, why the kids though?

Tina Bailey
Tina Bailey

If the picture used for this story is the "beard" they had an issue with, I would say donations need to be made to the school for the purpose of purchasing dictionaries so administration can look up the definition of the word beard \U0001f612

Ambur Lea James
Ambur Lea James

Yet people can go in whatever bathroom that choose now \U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602