Jacob Rush III has officially graduated from Abeka Academy in Pensacola, Florida, though his journey to the commencement stage wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

As Blavity previously reported, Rush’s situation to public attention back in March after his mother — Latrenda Rush — blasted the virtual academy for not allowing the straight-A student to walk at the in-person graduation due to his locs going against guidelines.

A letter sent to the Texas-based family on the policy explained that graduating students must “have their hair tapered and may not come over the ears, eyebrows, or collar (no braids, dreadlocks, buns, or ponytails).”


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A post shared by Latrenda Rush Ed.S. (@iamlatrenda)

However, once people began to pressure Abeka Academy, administrators ultimately removed the “no dreadlocks” rule and approved Jacob’s graduation petition.

“I think that they’ve never had anyone to challenge them,” Latrenda said of the school’s response to the matter.

“There’s an old saying that when someone is doing wrong or has done wrong, they’re not sorry for what they’ve done,” she added. “They’re sorry for how they got caught.”

On March 15, Abeka apologized for their “insensitive rule” on Facebook.

“Abeka Academy apologizes for the insensitive rule of ‘no dreadlocks’ in the dress and hair guidelines for our optional home-school graduation,” the statement read. “This does not reflect our desire to respect and serve the broad diversity among ABA students. Therefore, we have removed this reference from our requirements.”

This past Saturday, the Rush family traveled from their home base in Dallas to Pensacola to attend the graduation.

“It was a lot of sacrifice for him for the whole family. Homeschooling is not a walk in the park,” Latrenda noted. “I think that that’s his reward — being able to march.”


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A post shared by Latrenda Rush Ed.S. (@iamlatrenda)

The Rush family’s attorney, Sue-Ann Robinson, went on to blast the school’s original stance on the matter, calling it a “blatant example of hair discrimination.”

“There are systems still in place that discriminate against African Americans every day and attempt to strip away at our right to exist,” Robinson said. “The Crown Act and standing up for an amazing student like Jacob is how we fight back.”


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A post shared by Latrenda Rush Ed.S. (@iamlatrenda)

Notably, Jacob isn’t the only Texas-based teen who recently faced a similar issue regarding his locs and high school graduation.

As Blavity previously reported, Treyvion Gray recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Needville Independent School District for

Another Black teen named Tyree Williams faced similar issues with East Bernard High School as well.