A Philadelphia teen is speaking out after her principal refused to hand over her diploma at her graduation ceremony – because her family cheered for her. Prior to the ceremony, the principal at The Philadelphia High School for Girls warned students that their families shouldn’t cheer or clap for them when they crossed the stage. So when 17-year-old Hafsah Abdur-Rahman’s family cheered when she did a little dance, the principal refused to hand her the diploma. Although she was given the document after the ceremony, Abdur-Rahman says she’ll never get back the moment that was stolen from her. "I will never get that again," she says. In a statement released Tuesday, the School District of Philadelphia says it "does not condone the withholding of earned diplomas based on family members cheering for their graduates."
"She (the principal) stole that moment from me," said Hafsah Abdur-Rahman. "I will never get that again."
Abdur-Rahman cried tears of humiliation instead of joy at her high school graduation on June 9.
The 17-year-old from Philadelphia's Olney section said Principal Lisa Mesi warned students their families could not cheer or clap when they walked on stage.
"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."