A recent graduate from The Philadelphia High School for Girls is speaking out after she was denied her diploma on stage after dancing during the graduation ceremony.
Hafsah Abdur-Rahman, 17, said she was so excited to graduate and couldn’t wait to walk across the stage and receive her diploma. But her joy turned to humiliation when she was told she would not be receiving her diploma because she had danced on stage.
“I was so embarrassed,” Abdur-Rahman said. “I couldn’t even enjoy the rest of the graduation.”
Abdur-Rahman said she understood the rules about not cheering or clapping when students walked on stage, but she said she didn’t think dancing would be a problem.
“I was just so happy to be graduating,” she said. “I didn’t mean to cause any trouble.”
Abdur-Rahman said she is now calling for change at the school. She wants the principal to apologize and to allow students to celebrate their graduation without fear of being punished.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through,” she said.
The school’s principal, Dr. Lisa Steele, has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Abdur-Rahman’s story has sparked outrage on social media, with many people calling the principal’s decision to deny her diploma “unfair” and “heartless.”
“This is just heartbreaking,” one person wrote on Twitter. “This young woman worked hard to graduate, and she deserves to celebrate her accomplishment without fear of punishment.”
Another person wrote, “This is a prime example of why we need to change the way we think about education. Graduation should be a joyous occasion, not a time for humiliation.”
Abdur-Rahman’s story is a reminder that even on the happiest of days, there is always the potential for disappointment. But it is also a reminder that even in the face of adversity, there is always hope. Abdur-Rahman is a strong and resilient young woman, and she will not let this experience define her. She will continue to fight for what she believes in, and she will never give up on her dreams.