Show of support for club gets Fayetteville student expelled

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Controversy grows at 71st High School as a junior is expelled for making posters supporting the Black History Club.

In Fayetteville, a 16-year-old high school student says he was expelled for speaking his mind.

The 71st High School junior was called to the principal's office after he used posters to protest the principal's decision not to allow the Black History Club to wear stoles at graduation.

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"We don't have the right to speak out for what we believe in," Emanuel Vickers said Thursday.

Vickers used paint and paper to post his protest in a hallway at 71st High School, and said he wasn't surprised when he was called to the principal's office.

"He asked me was I was harassing him," Vickers told ABC11. "I said, no the posters had nothing to do with you, but the Black History Club."

Last week, members of the high school's Black History Club were told they can't wear their stoles to graduation. After ABC11 ran the story, students say 71st principal Myron Williams banned all club stoles from graduation.

RELATED: Graduation controversy hangs over Fayetteville school

Williams has refused to speak to ABC11. The school system will only say it's the principal's decision.

Even though he is not a Black History Club member, Vickers said he was just showing his support for the group.

Bernard Mohammed, a Peacekeepers conflict resolution counselor, said when he tried to intercede for the club and other students, he too, was shut out.

"I'm starting to get interviews, I'm starting to get text messages, emails from staff, present and past, and students who have situations and bad encounters with the principal," Mohammed said. "But the funny thing about it is, they made the Board of Education aware of it."

After a brief meeting with a school system official Thursday, Vickers said Principal Williams will be instructed to allow him to finish assigned homework and take final exams.

And something else.

"They basically told him he was in the wrong, but they were not going to do anything about it," Vickers told ABC11. "They said they don't normally suspend or expel people for this issue."

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