A former Texas queen will not be able to return to her high school to crown her successor because she wore a stole representing her Mexican heritage to her graduation ceremony in May 2023, the school district said.
Kayleigh Craddock is the current queen of Brazosport High School in Freeport, Texas, a city on the Gulf Coast about an hour from Galveston. Her mother, Cynthia Vasquez, told CNN that the 18-year-old is excited to return to her old high school this Friday to continue the tradition of crowning the next homecoming queen.
But that excitement faded, Vasquez said, when the family received a phone call from the school’s principal informing them that Kayleigh was no longer welcome to attend the party because she was wearing a stole that represented her Mexican heritage. at graduation in May.
In a statement shared with CNN, the Brazosport Independent School District said students were informed of the dress code before the graduation ceremony.
“The student was asked to comply with the dress code and refused. The graduate was the homecoming queen of the previous school year. However, due to the violation of the graduation ceremony in May, she was not invited again to participate in the coronation this year’s prom queen,” the statement said.
Vásquez denied this claim by saying that his daughter was told to take what he stole. Additionally, she told CNN that Kayleigh was the last in line on graduation day and a professor who approached her to ask about the stolen item told Craddock to tuck it into her gown.
Craddock, now a freshman at Sam Houston State University, told CNN affiliate KHOU that he was proud to wear the stole to receive his diploma.
“I want to represent my culture. I love being Mexican and I’ve always been proud,” he said. But if they had told him that he could not wear the stole, he would have taken it off.
“I wouldn’t have brought it if it was outside the dress code,” she told KHOU, “I wouldn’t have brought it, period.”
CNN reached out to Craddock for a response.
Vasquez said she remembers other students at the graduation also wearing stoles and felt Kayleigh was being singled out and punished.
He added that he also believes that the family should have been informed immediately about the school’s decision.
“He said, ‘Mom, you bought everything. All this money… Now what?'” she said.
Vásquez added that he contacted the school district, but did not receive a response. With just a few days left before going home, he said he hopes the school and district will change their stance.
Vásquez is not the first Texas mother to speak out against the school district’s dress code. Last week, Darresha George and her son, Darryl, filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Texas state leaders for failing to enforce the state’s CROWN Act, which protects against hair discrimination. .
Darryl George, 17, spent weeks suspended because his locks violated the Barbers Hill Independent School District’s hair length policy for male students. The family argued that her hairstyle should be protected by the state’s CROWN Act because her appearance is “typically or historically associated with race.”