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Philadelphia high school grad denied diploma after dancing on stage during ceremony

Philadelphia Girls’ High School graduates danced on stage at the school’s graduation ceremony on June 9 and were denied their diplomas by the principal.

Overjoyed at graduation, 17-year-old Hafsa Abdulrahman was caught dancing with a bouquet of flowers and getting light laughter from the crowd as she made her way to receive her diploma in front of family and friends.

When the girl reached out to receive her diploma, principal Lisa Messi apparently shook her off, not allowing her to leave with her degree.

“She stole that moment from me,” Abdurrahman said. ABC6. “You’ll never get something like that again.”

“I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t even enjoy the rest of my graduation.”

Before the ceremony, Messi warned the students’ families that cheering and clapping as loved ones crossed the stage was prohibited at graduation.


Hafsa Abdulrahman was seen excitedly performing “The Gridi” across the stage on his way to finish his degree.
ABC6

The girl said Messi told her she would not receive her diploma because of the laughter in the audience.

“I understood the rules because they said ‘shhh’ in the video. Don’t say anything just because you want your diploma. We knew what to do and we understood.” I was doing it,” Abdurrahman told the outlet.

Abdurrahman and her family believe she was targeted because other girls blew kisses and waved as they walked across the stage. Said Philadelphia Inquirer.


Principal Lisa Messi did not allow the teenage girl to receive her diploma because the audience burst into laughter when she danced.
Principal Lisa Messi did not allow the teenage girl to receive her diploma because the audience burst into laughter when she danced.
ABC6

Abdurrahman’s family said they remained silent as she strode across the stage but did not want anything to disturb her special moment, blaming her for being punished by the reactions of others in the crowd. claimed to be

“Children lost a lot because of the weather in the city of Philadelphia,” Abdurrahman’s grandmother Renee Haniya Reed told the magazine. “The dynamics have shifted. And my granddaughter wants to be an entrepreneur. If she doesn’t go to college, this will be her last walk. They tell me, ‘Oh, she’s I’m sure you’ll get over it,'” he said.

In an even stranger development, the teenage boy told the outlet that the vice-principal even instructed students to walk up and finish their degrees in order to receive them.


Luckily, the teenage girl was awarded her diploma after the ceremony was over.
Luckily, the teenage girl was awarded her diploma after the ceremony was over.
ABC6

“If they think I shouldn’t be on the other side of the stage doing ‘The Griddy’ and doing the high school traditions for girls, then I’ll wave, blow kisses, stop the period. No one should be able to sign autographs or anything because I think that’s the same thing, and I feel it’s unfair,” she declared. ABC6.

The teenage girl said three other girls were not given their diplomas because of the cheering and murmuring of the audience during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, all three girls were awarded their degrees.

Philadelphia Girls’ High School is a college preparatory school founded in 1848.

“The school district will not tolerate withholding a diploma just because a family member is rooting for a graduate. We are investigating this matter further to ensure that it does not occur,” the school said in a statement.

The school’s deputy superintendent contacted Abdurrahman after the ceremony and apologized to her and her mother for ruining an important day in the boy’s life.

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