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According to a black teenager, he was escorted out of his high school graduation ceremony by three deputies in Sacramento for refusing to remove his kente cloth (a traditional Ghanaian silk and cotton fabric).

On Saturday Nyree Holmes said he wore the decorative cloth atop his graduation robes to have something that represented his culture during the ceremony at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old student from Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove, California, says the school’s student activities director informed him he was violating graduation dress requirements. Instead of having a conversation with the young man, the student activities director allegedly refused and tried to prevent him from walking onstage by calling authorities.

Holmes says that when he got off stage, there were three sheriff’s deputies waiting to escort him out. However the school principal later met with his parents and apologized for the incident.

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