SHERMAN, TX--This weekend thousand of graduating high school seniors walked across the stage around Texoma, but one Sherman senior was not allowed to walk because of a dress code violation.
For many graduating seniors, getting to walk with their class is something to look forward to, but this Sherman student had to sit on the bleachers instead.
"And he says I don't have a tie on, so I can't walk, and he says get out of the line," Eric Eggen, Sherman graduate, said.
Eric Eggen has gone to Sherman schools his entire life, but he wasn't allowed to walk with his class. His mother says her son showed up to the ceremony in casual clothes and was asked to go home and change. He did, but the slacks and dress shirt were missing one thing . . . a tie.
"I knew you had to dress up--my friends told me--but they didn't say I needed a tie," Eggen said.
"I couldn't believe that, you know?" said Cindy Fikes, Eric's mother. "And he had been through major surgery and almost died and everything and still graduated and didn't get to walk with the high school."
Eggen did miss a lot of school for medical reasons. He was forced to enroll in Sherman's Alternative High School.
According to the principal, students were told about the dress code the day before at rehearsal. Because of an injury to his foot, according to his mother, Eggen missed that day.
"He still got his grades up, was commended on math and everything, did real good, and you know--graduated," Fikes said.
Both Sherman principals say it still comes down to students taking responsibility for themselves.
"I think it's unfortunate that it happened, but at the same time I think the student has to take some accountability for knowing what to wear," said Brett Counce, Perrin Learning Center Principal.
"Understandable, and I'm sorry it didn't work out for him, but we do everything we can to get information out to the kids," said Peggy VanMarter, Sherman High School Principal.
Fikes says that there were other students who didn't wear ties and that she didn't understand why school officials kept her son from walking.
"I really don't understand after 12 years of school to have to go and sit on the bleachers and watch your friends graduate," Fikes said.
. . . a memory that this student had to watch from the stands.
--Jen French, ABC Texoma News