The valedictorian at Amite High School wasn't allowed to participate in his graduation because he had a goatee, according to a report.
Andrew Jones, a 4.0 student and standout athlete, missed out on walking with his classmates for graduation on Thursday, WWL-TV reported.
The night of graduation, Jones and 13 other students were given the ultimatum to go to the bathroom and shave or not participate in the ceremony. Jones was the only one to refuse, saying he had never been told to shave prior, according to the report.
The school has a policy of having no facial hair on male students, and Superintendent Mark Kolwe said Jones was informed three times he had to shave.
"Eventually they took my gown," Jones told WWL. Jones had shaved his beard down to a simple goatee for the graduation ceremony. "They told me they had to take my gown from me."
Following the ceremony, a rally has been planned for Monday at 2 p.m. outside the Tangipahoa Parish School Board Office. The Tangipahoa chapter of the NCAAP is planning the rally — Jones is African-American — and the chapter discovered photos of white students with facial hair participating in graduation in previous Amite High ceremonies.
Jones will be headed to Southern Louisiana University, where he will play football. He has received academic and athletic scholarships.
The story has gained national attention the last few days, with even The Roots' drummer Questlove commenting on it on Twitter: