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Cosumnes Oaks senior in trouble at graduation for what he wore

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    • #177471

      EGL Admin
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      Didn’t know what to put in the title. This happened on Tuesday, but it is now becoming a national story and once again race will be the main narrative in the story. There are lots of links to the story out there, I don’t think any of them have the whole story. The student in question is black. He wanted to wear something called a Kente cloth, which has to do with his African heritage. EGUSD has a strict dress code for graduation. You wear your cap and gown and only the honor sashes that they give you. You can’t wear leis or anything else. All the kids and all the parents know about. Of course some kids try to wear things they shouldn’t. According to my sources that are teachers that were there, some kids tried to wear leis of flowers, candy and money and they were not allowed to wear them. The details on what happened with the young man Nyree Holmes are sketchy. Did he have it on the whole time as he was in line? Rumor is that he didn’t or else he wouldn’t have made it that far. Speculation is maybe he had it under his gown and then took it out when it was time to walk up. That’s speculation. According to the online stories, he was seen by someone from the school and asked to remove the cloth. He refused. Other teachers asked him and he still refused. He did walk on stage with it and got his diploma and after he walked off the stage it sounds like 2-3 Sheriff’s deputies escorted him out.

      The debate now is that he was singled out because he is black. Never mind that it is a rule that everyone knew about and that other kids couldn’t wear leis. The fact that he is black and was wearing something about his heritage, has to mean it was racially motivated. To some that is the only answer. I was looking at his Twitter page this morning and it’s all about race. “White people are afraid of intelligent black men.”, everyone pumping this kid up. I’m sure an invite to the White House will be coming up soon.

      It seems to me there is a very simple answer. The rules apply to everyone. Race had nothing to do with it. If someone of Scottish descent wanted to wear something from Scotland, they would have said no. People might complain, but it wouldn’t about race. We are at the point now where any incident involving someone that is black is going to about racism.

      Earlier this week someone shared photos on our EGLF FB page. 4 black teens from Monterey Trail were smoking pot in a neighborhood by Morse Park. The neighbors complained and allegedly the teens attacked two of them and assaulted them. One of the homeowners got a taser and the kids ran off. The police were called but the kids had already left. The photos were posted to our page and we shared it. There were complaints we only shared the photos because they were black. Not true. Through social media we got the names of all 4 kids. Passed it along to the police and the school. Not sure what will happen, if anything. The debate raged on and most people were happy and wanted to help catch the kids. There were a few comments with racial undertones that ended up deleting. What was more troubling to me was the comments from other black people. Not the majority of them, because most were upset with the kids, but of the comments that were critical of the photos and the neighbors, most were from black people. There were excuses, like kids are bored. That the neighbors only said something because they were black. Some even said the neighbors got what they deserved because they took photos and they deserved to get attacked.

      These two incidents underscore for me that we are no where near any type of racial harmony and I don’t think we ever will. There are too many people on the far end of each side that have an agenda that don’t want harmony. The comments on the Holmes twitter page were absurd. That white people are trying to assimilate black people and taking away their heritage. Most of them have no clue about their heritage and don’t care.

    • #293919

      newmom
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      A friend posted this story yesterday on facebook. I posted about the rules, etc-and one man got super nasty with me. Never met him, he doesn’t know me. My friend ended up blocking him, but this is the entire post.

      Me:_I don’t know if it’s accurate as depicted in the story, but I can see why the school wouldn’t allow him to wear it. Students earned the right to wear specific cords and cloths based on school determined academic and service goals and achievements. Those are the ONLY ones students should be wearing that day.

      Nasty person– get a life- a merit scholar cant wear a scarf from his home country?? ONLY – in what world- pretty sad – of course it is in Elk Grove…not surprised in the least…especially from yuor comment…you sound like a school administrator…pretty sad

      Me: How do you know it’s his home country? The kids work hard in school to earn the right to wear certain specific cords and collars with their caps and gowns. This cords and collars hold special significance and meaning. Kids can’t just wear whatever they want. They also agree to a code of conduct and dress from the ceremony. Did he try and clear it with the school ahead of time? No. Why do you think that is? “Get a
      life”? Nice. Way to have a mature dialogue.

      Nasty person--OK School administrator- no Black scarves allowed- got it…you are dissing a scholar ?? way to go school administrator- really need police at the end of the line- seriuosly???sorry for you…

      Me: What is a black scarf? He chose not to remove the cloth when asked to. Several times. And it’s not his home country. He was born in the US. Please re-read the article.

      Nasty person: Why would he need to remove a scarf – are you against blacks wearing scarves from West Africa – you read the article -in other words – blacks with West African pride – move out of Elk Grove .

      It is people with little minds like yourself that ruin our country / he had a scarf that I dont
      Approve of so let’s call the police – – the police in Elk Grove have nothing better to do than arrest scholars who are wearing the wrong scarves because they are black – grow up bitch

    • #293911

      EGL Admin
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      That’s exactly the attitude. The only answer for them is that it is because he is black. That’s the only thing they will accept. They don’t even know the story. They act like Elk Grove is some racist town. Elk Grove is one of the most diverse cities around and the school district reflects that. In one of the news stories it said Cosumnes Oaks is “predominantly white”. While white is the race with the most kids there, it is only 30% white. It is 22% Hispanic and 18% black. 12% are Asian. I would hardly call it predominantly white.

    • #293921

      dc327
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      Wow! My son graduated from CO on Tuesday and I missed this entire thing. I’ll ask him later what he saw or knows. The school was very very explicit in letting the students and parents know what was acceptable attire and what you were allowed to bring in to the arena. I’m sure he had the scarf hidden. Security was turning away people that tried to bring gifts into the arena. It didn’t affect the ceremony – it was a really nice ceremony, and like I said, I didn’t even know this happened! So I’d guess whatever happened has been completely blown out of proportion. The nasty comments are from people that think the rules don’t apply to them and make excuses.

    • #293923

      kindrlindr
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      I am in shock newmom! Way to go from 0-60, huh?? How rude.

      It was blown out of proportion because of the teens posts on twitter or whatever. I am sure they were shared with everyone with an agenda. 🙁 To me, it came across with an entitlement attitude from the start. No doubt he was trying to make a statement. Great. Make your statement, but NOT at a graduation ceremony where every single graduate was forewarned about the rules.

    • #293916

      LC
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      I guess we’ve learned that special snowflakes come in all colors.

    • #293924

      kindrlindr
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    • #293917

      LC
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      @kindrlindr 126075 wrote:

      http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2016/05/27/elk-grove-district-regrets-removing-student-from-graduation-ceremony/

      This is what drives me full batshit with some school districts. WHY do they regret it? There is history of graduating seniors not being able to wear their military dress. The district issued dress codes, what is so wrong with enforcing it. We see this in colleges every day. Thank God my wife’s district doesn’t bend to this bullshit. They stand by their rules and their staff, while ensuring the stakeholders are engaged. That may be one reason why their demographics are a lot lower income than EGUSD but their test scores are a lot higher. Plus, they don’t contract out for the achievement gap. They tackle it internally and make it happen. My bias–my wife runs that program. 🙂

    • #293912

      EGL Admin
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      @LC 126076 wrote:

      This is what drives me full batshit with some school districts. WHY do they regret it? There is history of graduating seniors not being able to wear their military dress. The district issued dress codes, what is so wrong with enforcing it. We see this in colleges every day. Thank God my wife’s district doesn’t bend to this bullshit. They stand by their rules and their staff, while ensuring the stakeholders are engaged. That may be one reason why their demographics are a lot lower income than EGUSD but their test scores are a lot higher. Plus, they don’t contract out for the achievement gap. They tackle it internally and make it happen. My bias–my wife runs that program. 🙂

      Ignore the headline and read the text. The headline says the district regrets it. That’s misleading. In the text it says they regret the events that led up to it, and then go on to say that all the parents and students were aware of it.

      FULL STATEMENT
      During a high school graduation ceremony held at the Sleep Train Arena located in Sacramento, CA on May 24, 2016, a Cosumnes Oaks High School (COHS) student was prohibited from participating in the remainder of the school’s graduation ceremony for refusing to follow direction of school officials who were attempting to uphold the established dress code and for ignoring repeated requests to remove unauthorized non-school award regalia.

      Generally speaking, it is within the District’s discretion and prerogative to impose rules for graduation ceremony dress code and attire which apply generally to all students, and which do not discriminate against any specific student viewpoint. That rule and standard has been in place for decades in EGUSD, and was in place for COHS’s graduation ceremony, just like for other District high school commencement ceremonies. All students and families were made aware of these rules before the COHS ceremony. The District regrets how events unfolded in this instance; however there was no intent to discriminate against the student, as the same rules apply to every graduate.

      The student was allowed to walk across the stage to be recognized and took a formal picture with the principal wearing the Kente cloth. Later, the student was allowed to return to the area where students received their diplomas. The student was given his diploma.

      The District’s approved graduation uniform is a cap and gown. Students may wear, stoles, cords or medals that have been earned and awarded to students at prior ceremonies. Unfortunately, prior to the COHS graduation ceremony, school officials were not given the opportunity to discuss with the family the student’s desire to wear the cloth.

      All Cosumnes Oaks High School seniors and their parents received written and verbal communication on multiple occasions from school officials that reminded students regarding appropriate graduation ceremony attire.

    • #293922

      norules
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      Well, just saw on the news that the student won. He won the right to not follow the rules. The principal and district apologized. Nowhere in the news does it state he did not follow the rules. Why can’t you just simply wear what is required and move on? Keep your agendas at home so everyone can enjoy the festivities. This is not about cultural diversity. This is not about the fact that no harm done. They knew what was acceptable and they choose to ignore it.

    • #293918

      LC
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      Of course they did. It’s the end of year, classes are over for the most part, and there’s a ton of work to do between now and the end of June that students and parents don’t see. They want to get beyond it, go home for the summer. What’s one more apology? What’s one more caving to a situation that could escalate with a few noisy people? This isn’t just EGUSD, it’s lots of districts who have been beat up by lawsuits, demonstrations, “i have my rights” people, etc. and they’ve learned that caving is cheaper and faster than standing up to these people.

      At the time when our daughter was school age, we had her in private school up until most of third grade. It was a Montessori school and as the grades got higher there were 4-6 students per class–just too few. We looked around and didn’t see any private school that was compelling. None of the Catholic schools were that great, and still aren’t for the most part, save Jesuit High. Today I’d look harder. I did battle with San Juan up through high school and grew to despise the district. Today Folsom High would be an obvious choice, but they have a myriad of social problems there too. I’d look at a home schooling option, but home schoolers don’t have a good record on re-entry so lots of concerns there. I think you’d find more than a few public school administrators placing their own kids in private schools or home schooling–they know the problems even though they’re in the system.

      There’s usually enough good schools in most districts to get by with a decent education, but the public school culture internally and within the schools is not improving IMO. If your student is special needs or Title I, you’ve got in knocked because that’s where the money is and where the efforts are largely directed. If your student is of GATE ability, forget about it. There’s no money and little interest in the rapid learners. Even the average B student doesn’t get much attention today. We need vouchers and competitors for the public schools, but with the CTA and the CA legislature, that’s not happening anytime soon.

    • #293914

      joy
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      Gotta call bullshit on the suggestion that Elk Grove GATE able kids should run fer the hills. If what you care about for your kid is a school that looks great and hits all the prestige buttons, then by all means shop that way. If what you care about is a great education by really good teachers, ample opportunity for challenge, and good preparation for the future it is out there.

    • #293915

      joy
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      I should add that I’m referring to high school in particular above. I know that elementary experiences vary greatly even within the same school. To me elementary school is as much about socialization, learning to navigate the world and learning the basics as it is about academic excellence.

      Getting back to topic, the district clearly outlines their policy and it is definitely needed. I hate to see them apologizing. I can’t remember if they specifically outline what will happen if you do something like this, but that may be something for them to consider moving forward. I also can’t remember if some sort of a form had to be signed acknowledging the rules but that may be something they’d have to consider too. Who thinks this is going to happen again next year based on the publicity this story got?

    • #293920

      violarose
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      My 3 graduated from Franklin this year. It was beautiful watching them all stream in with their purple robes and hats. It was so moving. This is a team. This is a group. This is not individual time. I had identical twins so I preached them to be unique. but this was not the time to show you’re independence. This is a time to shine in a group.
      My girls earned cords. They deserved to wear them proudly. I also worked painfully to make 3 lei’s. I would of loved to put them on my kids after the ceremony but we couldn’t even bring them in.
      When the ceremony was over the kids were hoarded outside, (which we did not know about). It was chaotic trying to find them and to do group pics. I never did get their leis on them till we got home. ( Oh well, such is life) !!!!!!
      2 of my kids want summer jobs? hint hint, 🙂

    • #293925

      JJJXK
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      My kids go to CO. One was in attendance at the event. Everyone knew the rules and this kid broke them. How it was handled was wrong but I am still happy my kids are going to CO next year. It’s a great school & my kids are working hard for the chords they will wear. My wife, like the story above, will make leis that we have to gameplan how to get them on the kids for pics etc. It will suck. I will complain to my wife about it sucking but in the end like always we will do it because its how life works.

    • #293913

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      This is naive, but I really don’t understand why some people think this is an issue about race. The question they ask is why couldn’t he wear it? That’s not the point. WHAT he wore isn’t the issue, contrary to what some people think. Once you allow someone to wear something, now you have to decide what is or isn’t appropriate. Some people called the decision fascism. Some said it’s a freedom of speech issue. No it’s not.

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