Genaro Camacho was told he could not walk at his graduation Friday after he cussed out his teachers on Facebook. His punishment has sparked debate in the community.
Camacho, 18, had participated in a senior prank at Mater Dei Academy in Chula Vista involving water balloons and got caught.
While the school was trying to work out a punishment for the prank, Camacho wrote, “this is a f---ing joke” on his Facebook page.
He then wrote, “f--k all the teachers who said I would never amount to anything in my life.”
The school responded by telling Camacho he couldn’t walk at graduation on Friday.
“That Genaro would proceed with the prank and then post highly offensive remarks in the face of such clear warnings demonstrates disregard for the school, for its rules and the other students,” President Thomas Clayton Beecher wrote in a letter to Camacho’s mother.
Camacho and his mother say he deserves a second chance and would like to see some compassion from the Catholic school.
“I think it's really too harsh. I know it's a public thing but it's on my personal page, it's freedom of speech,” Camacho said. “ I was always taught to forgive one another. Everyone deserves a second chance,” Camacho said.
The story was debated on AJ in the Morning on Star 94.1 on Friday. (Listen to podcast.)
“ I think that Mater Dei is completely right in not letting him walk,” Pam said.
“He was forewarned not to do it. Not only did he break the rules, he publicized it for all his other classmates to see,” Cheryl said.
But not everyone agreed.
“I don't agree with what he did, at all, but isn't that freedom of speech,” Samantha Cazales-Hartley wrote on the NBCSanDiego Facebook page.
“He said he was sorry! And he was just telling the teachers who didn't believe in him an "F" Bomb. How many of us had teachers who didn't believe in you? Give him community service work but not being able to attend graduations is wrong. He knows he made a mistake,” wrote Leticia Gonzalez.
Camacho does admit he made a poor choice and warns other teenagers to be careful about what they write. He too had been warned before, but said he didn’t really consider the consequences -- until now.
As for compassion, the president is allowing Genaro to “complete his course requirements and be granted a diploma.”