LUBBOCK, Texas — Graduations took place across the Hub City on the first weekend of June.
Estacado High School held its graduation ceremony on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. For Estacado’s salutatorian, Elexis Carillo, graduating high school is no small feat.
“I guess you could say graduation was just a culmunation of all my hard work that I’ve done and it’s just an overall good feeling,” Carillo said.
Before making her way out with her diploma, she decided to kneel with her classmates during the national anthem.
“One of my fellow classmates had posted and he was like I think we should all kneel,” Carillo said. “And that got a lot of reaction and I was like… I was already planning on sitting but I support my classmates 110 percent. I’m going to kneel because that just seems like something that is the right thing to do.”
She said she and her classmates, feel it’s their right.
“The flag represents your freedoms and your ability to be able to do what you want,” Carillo said.
Carillo said Estacado is predominantly comprised of black and Hispanic students, who don’t always get the same opportunities.
“Yes, it was for George Floyd but at the same time it was kind of a way for us to out our community on notice about the issues going on,” Carillo said.
Carillo also added she believes East Lubbock is often painted with a broad stroke, and wants to help change that perception.
“They often don’t know what goes on over here and so they don’t understand the issues or the struggles that people in this community go through,” Carillo said.
She said there were mixed emotions following the protest. Some believed it was disrespectful while others joined along with them. She said she did so to spark a conversation.
“We just want people to see okay, these are young kids. These are the future and they’re in tune with what’s going on,” Carillo said.
Estacado was not the only school with students who protested. Lubbock High School and Talkington School also had students participate in their own protests.
“This is something we can’t ignore anymore,” Carillo said.
Carillo will be attending Louisiana State University on a full ride scholarship in the fall.