HUMBLE, Texas — Graduation day is supposed to be one of the biggest highlights for high school seniors, but for some students at Summer Creek High School, the day turned unexpectedly sour.
Students who were part of the Spanish National Honor Society were prepared to walk across the stage over the weekend with sashes that let everyone know they got good grades and completed more than 100 volunteer hours, but those sashes were stripped away from them before the ceremony began.
In a video, you can see administrators folding the confiscated sashes behind the stage.
"We put in our time -- 100-plus hours we put in -- and just for it to get taken away like that," graduate Olivia Silva said. "It’s so disrespectful and so humiliating."
Judith Bautista, the teacher in charge of the Spanish National Honor Society, was angry about what happened. She said she got approval for the students to wear the sashes in April. She said there was a special ceremony for the students on Cinco De Mayo where they were presented with the sashes.
Bautista said she tried to speak to administrators at the graduation ceremony to address the problem.
"The only thing he said is, 'Bautista, we will talk about it on Tuesday' and let me get out," she said.
Bautista feels as if her students were being targeted.
In the same video that showed the confiscated sashes being folded behind the stage, other students were seen wearing different sashes that represented their culture and other organizations. Those students were even allowed to walk across the stage with them on.
Bautista was so hurt about the situation that she made a video for social media that was shared thousands of times.
"To me, personally, it's racial discrimination and this is something I have been having to fight for to represent my community," she said.
KHOU 11 News reached out to the school district, which said the incident was a miscommunication and the person checking student outfits had no idea the sashes were approved.
"We feel terrible they were not allowed to wear the Spanish National Honor Society sashes," Humble ISD's chief communication officer, Jamie Mount, said. "They should have been allowed to wear them."
The district said it has reached out to the students and offered them a free portrait of them in their sashes, but the students said it's too late. They said that special moment across the stage is gone.
"I, personally, don’t think nothing will fix that," Silva said.
Humble ISD has about 38% Hispanics in the district.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, also known as LULAC, is getting involved.