Fifteen students at the MacArthur Park-area Liechty Middle School have not received diplomas as a result of a graduation ceremony protest they staged last week. Last Thursday the 15 demonstrated against L.A. Unified School District layoffs by turning their backs on guest speaker and LAUSD board president Monica Garcia. Then, when they approached principal Jeanette Stevens onstage for their diplomas, all they got were a handshake and words from Stevens telling them they would not receive their certificates. This prompted their parents to call a news conference four days later demanding a meeting and apology from Stevens.

So far the LAUSD is backing Stevens, saying the kids will receive their diplomas when they and their parents meet with school officials, who are not asking for apologies from the students.

“During any school event,” reads an LAUSD press release, “Liechty Middle School expects students to demonstrate

respectful behavior.”

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