ASHE COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - An Ashe County mother says her daughter was not allowed to walk across the stage at her high school graduation because her previously approved shoes were not acceptable. Now the family wants to take action against the school.
“Something was taken from my daughter that she worked 13 years for,” said Dixon. “It can’t be replaced. It can’t be re-created.”
Graduation at Ashe County High School was held on Friday. Her daughter wore a white shirt, black pants, and black converse. Dixon shared a YouTube video detailing what happened and showing the forbidden shoes. She says the shoes were previously approved by a guidance counselor at Ashe County High School but thirty-five minutes before the ceremony started, a staffer told her daughter tennis shoes were not allowed.
“Because my daughter is different and doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter southern belt bible mold!”
The petition “what’s shoes got to do with it” has hundreds of supporters and grows by the minute.
“And I do feel like my daughter was discriminated against. Not because of the shoes she wore, because kids wore worse shoes than what she did. But it was the only thing they could use against her to stop her.”
The mother said she is filing a complaint with the school on Monday and getting a lawyer.
FOX 46 reached out to the school for a comment, but the school is closed over the weekend.
UPDATE: On Monday, Ashe County High School sent a statement to Fox46 Charlotte saying students are expected to wear dress clothing and dress shoes.
For 19 years, Ashe County High School has educated and supported all students through their educational journey. The graduation experience is a time for students to be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. In the months prior to this event, seniors are made aware of all the activities that will be leading up to this milestone. One of the items that is addressed in these meetings is student dress for graduation. Students are informed of dress attire that meet the guidelines to participate in the ceremony. Graduation from high school is a momentous occasion, not only for graduates, but for their families. Wearing proper attire dignifies the event. Students are expected to wear dress clothing as well as dress shoes. All seniors are required to follow the same regulations. Wardrobe assistance is provided for any student to ensure the availability of proper attire. It is written in the graduation informational letter and stressed that if students inappropriately dress they will receive diplomas the following Monday, but they will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. “In the seven years I have been an administrator in Ashe County High School, we have always supplied any clothing needs for any student,” expressed Amanda Hipp, Principal. Students have the choice to comply or not walk.