A principal was escorted off school grounds after he delivered a controversial graduation speech.
In the speech, Stagg High School principal Ben Nakamura talked about being fired from his job.
A spokesperson confirmed the incident to Insider and said Nakamura was barred from later ceremonies.
A high-school principal in Stockton, California, was booted from the school's graduation ceremony and barred from attending subsequent ceremonies after he used his speech to tell students he had been fired from his position.
In his speech, delivered on Thursday, Stagg High School principal Ben Nakamura spoke about race and neighborhood violence, and he encouraged students to study, the local news outlet The Stockton Record reported. During his remarks, he also spoke about his childhood and his mother's death from a heroin overdose, the report said.
Nakamura also addressed his removal as school principal and said district officials voted to remove him in a 4-3 decision, the report said.
The Record reported that officials at the Stockton Unified School District had announced employee layoffs earlier in the year. When parents found out that Nakamura was among those the district planned to dismiss, some protested outside school-district meetings, The Record reported.
"I wanted to tell the kids why I left, so they would know I did not leave them, I did not turn my back on them," Nakamura told The Record.
Nakamura did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Monday.
Melinda Meza, a spokesperson for the Stockton Unified School District, confirmed the incident in a statement to Insider on Monday.
She said school-district officials had received "complaints from parents" about Nakamura's speech because they felt he had used his "platform for his personal grievances."
Meza said Nakamura had not followed required protocols instituted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said no speeches were permitted at the ceremonies, and that they were to be taped and distributed virtually following the ceremony. No other principal in the district made a speech at a ceremony, she said.
Guidelines from the California Department of Public Health said all attendees of graduation ceremonies should remain masked during the event. But the guidelines also said speakers could remove their masks while they talked. CDPH recommended that in-person speeches be kept "brief."
Nakamura told The Record that he wasn't aware that he was violating any policy because such guidelines were changing "pretty much on a daily basis." The school spokesperson said all principals were informed of the rule in "April and May."
Nakamura was not escorted off the stage, and the graduation was over when he was approached by a ceremony official and a school public safety officer, Meza said. They escorted him to his car and informed him that he would not be allowed to participate in the following graduation ceremonies.
The school's graduation ceremonies were divided into three separate events because of the pandemic.
Nakamura is still employed by the district, Meza said. She was unable to provide further details about his employment or his dismissal as the Stagg High principal because it was a "personal/human resource matter," she added.
Read the original article on Insider