For high school students, graduation day can be filled with joy and the pride of having completed your studies. One Oklahoma teenager's graduation ceremony, however, was taken from him.
Austun Blagg, 18, was not allowed to walk across the stage for his graduation ceremony. The reason: he was not wearing the correct footwear.
“I cried and I cried,” Mary Blagg, Austun’s grandmother, told News Channel 10. “It made me sick.
"This is a big milestone for Austun,” she added. “He worked hard to get where he's at. It just crushed me and it was hard.”
The superintendent of Guymon High School reportedly sent the News Channel 10 station a copy of the graduation ceremony dress code. In the code, it stated that dress shoes were to be worn by those graduating; Austun's sneakers were against the policy.
Austun's grandmother asserts that he was wearing the shoes for a medical reason.
"On August the 24th of 2008, Austun was in a serious accident,” Mary told the news station. “His foot got crushed and his toes were broken in three layers.”
His foot was not the only thing injured in the accident. It also left Austun with a serious brain injury.
Austun reportedly struggled to enjoy high school following the brain injury. Despite this though, he had looked forward to graduating and receiving his diploma.
"It's like the end of everything and you're just so satisfied and you're so relieved,” Austun said. “I'm still pretty bummed out that I couldn't do it because it's a once and a life time thing, you only get to do it once.”
Though the school was aware of his injury, they still required that he wear dress shoes. Thus, he was not allowed to walk during his graduation.
Many took to social media to voice their opinions on the matter.
“This makes me sick!!” one user commented. “How can they deny him a privilege he earned just because of his shoes?!?! Guymon school officials should be ashamed!!!!”
“I think that is about the saddest thing a school could do …” said one user. “More important now a days is dress code than an education.”
Photo Credit: News Channel 10