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Students Banned From Graduation Ceremony

By Susy Solis, CBS 11 News
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) -  Graduation ceremonies for Keller ISD continued today without several students who were banned from walking on stage to receive their diplomas because of their alleged involvement in senior pranks at two high schools.

Keller ISD revoked walking privileges for eight Central High School students after video of a food fight on school grounds was posted on YouTube. Four students from Timber Creek High School were banned from walking after they allegedly released animals into the school.

Several students and parents protested at Keller ISD late Friday hoping the district would overturn the ban, but to no avail. Several parents did file formal appeals, but the district informed them that their appeals would not be seen until next week — after graduation ceremonies.

Several Central High School seniors who were banned from walking, including Randal Grizzle, Robert Morgan and Jessie Garica, showed up at their school’s graduation ceremony anyway, with caps and gowns.

“My family, we are going to take pictures after this. We’re just really said that I don’t get to walk with all my friends,” Grizzle said.

Garcia said he had fought the allegations that he participated in the food fight and said there was no proof he’d thrown anything.

“In all the videos, they’ve got me just standing there,” he said. “Now they won’t let me walk just because somebody said (I participated), but in all the videos they’ve got me doing nothing.”

The banned students watched the ceremony alongside family and friends. From the stands, Grizzle stood up and participated in the ceremony anyway. He turned his tassel from one side to the other and even threw his graduation cap into the air after the ceremony concluded.

Later, parents and students weighed in.

“I think it wasn’t a good thing because there were so many others involved in it that didn’t get caught,” said Melanie Duncan, whose son had just received his diploma. “I think maybe they should have been responsible for cleaning up during the summer or something.  But to be singled out and not get to walk across with their classmates wasn’t a good idea.”

“I think it was pretty fair. What they did was wrong,” said Scott Poole, a fellow classmate.

The ceremony signified a new beginning for students and even the students who were punished say they are moving forward.

“There’s nothing to do anymore, it’s done. Just move on,” said Garcia.

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