AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - An Americus Sumter High School graduate's diploma is in limbo after school officials said the salutatorian speech she read was not approved.
Less than one week after the class of 2017 graduation ceremony, the school sent Salutatorian Na'Charlesia Floyd's family a letter, stating she will not receive her diploma "due to defiance."
In a cell phone video of her speech, Floyd's audio did appear to lower before she said she was recognizing female African American graduates, along with Latinos and Asians.
The audio did come back up during the speech.
According to the letter from Principal Kimothy Hadley to Floyd's family, Floyd did not follow directions when told her speech's first page was not appropriate.
The letter stated her speech did not address the captive audience or the class of 2017 demographics as a whole.
The letter cited the student handbook, stating "engaging in any verbal or physical acts of bigotry...is a violation of the student code of conduct."
Sunday, Floyd told WALB her goal with the speech.
"I was just trying to unify my whole class, minorities and give them encouraging words as they go offer to college as first generation students," said Floyd.
The letter notified Floyd's family that they can appeal this action by attending a meeting at the school next week.
Principal Hadley said a neutral party will then make a decision on her diploma moving forward.
Superintendent Dr. Torrance Choates said whether Floyd is found in compliance or not in compliance, the school system will "deal with this matter for her best interest."
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