Philadelphia High School Grad Denied Diploma For Dancing On Stage, ‘I Was So Embarrassed’

Philadelphia High School Grad Denied Diploma For Dancing On Stage, ‘I Was So Embarrassed’

A Philadelphia high school graduate was left “embarrassed” after she was denied her diploma during the graduation ceremony for dancing on stage.

Hafsah Abdur-Rahman, 17, is calling for change after she was denied her diploma from The Philadelphia High School for Girls for doing a dance known as “The Griddy” during the June 9 ceremony, ABC 6 reports. A now-viral video shows the teen getting called to accept her diploma and dancing over to the faculty member holding the document.

However, instead of handing the graduate her diploma, the teacher denied Abdur-Rahman for doing the dance on stage.

“She (the principal) stole that moment from me,” Abdur-Rahman said. “I will never get that again.”

While students and families were warned by the principal that they couldn’t cheer or clap when they walked on stage, the teen thought her dance would be accepted.

“I understood the rules because I was saying ‘shh’ in the video. Do not say nothing because I want my diploma,” said Abdur-Rahman. “I knew and understood what we were supposed to do.”

The teen thinks because others laughed at her dance, that’s what prevented her from receiving the diploma.

“If they thought that I shouldn’t do ‘The Griddy’ across the stage and do the Girls’ High traditions, nobody should have been able to wave or blow kisses or do period signs because I feel like that’s the same thing, she said. “I feel like that’s unfair.”

Abdur-Rahman said her moment was in honor of her sister who was killed at 14 years old and now it was ruined.

“I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t even enjoy the rest of the graduation,” Abdur-Rahman said.

She wasn’t the only one who didn’t receive their diploma, three other girls didn’t receive their diploma on stage but did so after the ceremony. The school has since released a statement about withholding the diplomas.

“The District does not condone the withholding of earned diplomas based on family members cheering for their graduates,” the statement read.

“We apologize to all the families and graduates who were impacted and are further looking into this matter to avoid it happening in the future.”

Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill reposted the video on Twitter and blasted the school for how it “stole this girl’s big moment.” Many agreed saying they would have “cussed everyone out on stage.”

One user noted “the reaction from her classmates & the audience” that seemingly shows how “that behavior is not tolerated at that specific school.”