Voces Unidas stands with student in fight for cultural expression at graduation
Voces Unidas President and CEO Alex Sánchez released the following statement in response to Naomi Peña Villasano's court filing in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado yesterday requesting that the court declare that Garfield 16 School District and Grand Valley High School cannot prevent her from graduating while wearing a multicultural stole this Saturday:
“Although we are disappointed that it has come to this, we are 100% behind Naomi and her legal efforts to prevent Garfield County School District 16 from trampling on her First Amendment right to celebrate her cultural heritage at this weekend’s Grand Valley High School commencement ceremony.
"This court filing by a Latina high school student on the eve of her own high school graduation is further evidence of the need to pass legislation clarifying that all students have the right to wear cultural regalia at any public graduation ceremony.
"Voces Unidas has already begun working with state lawmakers to pass such legislation in 2024, including creating an online petition that we encourage anyone who believes in the First Amendment to sign.”
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Read MALDEF's press release here.