Kente Cloth Gets Student Booted From Graduation

Graduation season is in full swing, with students and their families gathering to celebrate their achievements. But the big day for some young people is not turning out how they planned. Recently, an Elk Grove, Calif., teen was escorted out of the commencement ceremony at Cosumnes Oaks High School for not “obeying the rules of graduation.” His infraction? Wearing a kente cloth stole.

Nyree Holmes told he wore the cloth to represent his culture.

“The kente cloth has been worn by royalty and it’s been used in royal ceremonies in Ghana and in other African countries where Christianity is the main religion,” the 18-year-old explained. “And me being a Christian and a person of African descent, I felt that it was right for me to represent my people and my future and my religion by wearing the kente cloth.”

Unfortunately, school officials didn’t see it that way. As he prepared to walk the stage and receive his diploma, Holmes was approached by school officials who asked him to remove the stole.

Holmes detailed the encounter on Twitter.

(screenshots via Fusion)



While security was being called, Holmes’ turn came up to take the stage. Still wearing the kente cloth, the teen felt he was home free. However, after basking in the moment, Holmes said he was met by security as he exited the platform.


screen-shot-2016-05-25-at-5-11-22-pmHolmes’ father was eventually able to get the diploma, and the teen has officially completed high school. He’ll be attending Cal State University, Fullerton in the fall.


Photo: Nyree Holmes