Student Posts to Social Media, High School Denies Her Participation in Graduation Ceremony

STOCKTON -- Walking the stage at graduation is a time many seniors spent all year looking forward to, but one student at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton almost lost her chance to walk tomorrow because of a social media post.

Alexis Irvine finished her academics at St. Mary’s in December, but Saturday was supposed to be her last hurrah as a Ram…until it almost wasn’t.

“Wednesday is when everything went from top hill to bottom hill and it was really devastating,” said Irvine.

Irvine says that day the school informed her that she was not allowed to walk the stage at graduation. The reason? A social media post Irvine made Tuesday where Irvine posted some of her college entrance essay to Sonoma State University.

“I had gotten word back that it was a great essay, so I was really excited about it and I wanted to share it around,” said Irvine.

The essay prompt was on how sports systems are promoted more than education and Irvine says she wrote that St. Mary’s repeatedly invested more in their athletics than academics and students suffered academically because of it.

According to the St. Mary’s handbook, under electronic device use policy, discipline can be used if the school’s reputation is harmed. Students and parents signed a contract agreeing to the terms. Irvine says she argued that because she finished school in December, the rules did not apply to her anymore and started a movement under the hashtag, #letlexywalk.

“A lot of my supporters had called in and said ‘hey let Lexy walk, what’s so big about her walking? She just gave an option in truth’ and it finally got to them and I’m glad to say St. Mary’s High School is allowing me to walk,” said Irvine.

St. Mary’s president Jim Brusa sent FOX40 a statement saying in part:

“While there were other contributing factors involved in our recent decision that cannot be made public, we have decided to allow the student who had not been scheduled to participate in tomorrow’s graduation ceremonies. Our top priority at St. Mary’s High School has, is and will always be to provide the best academic and spiritual experience for each and every student. This graduating class is stellar with a 100% graduation rate.”

Irvine says the experience has shown her that anyone can make a difference.

“In some ways, I’m like man, this was not my point to give my graduation, so in some ways I do regret it and in other ways I led a pathway for other people who can’t speak up or keep quiet to things to actually be able to have a say in what they feel, and that science isn’t always the key but honesty is,” Irvine said.