PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Graduation is a mixed bag of emotions for one local high school football player.
Chavas Rawlins has a lot to look forward to; he’s graduating from Monessen High School early and enters West Virginia University as a freshman Monday.
“He’s a good student, he’s done everything that he’s possibly had to do, he got a full scholarship at West Virginia University,” Rawlins’ mother Laurie Sutovich said.
But there’s one let down, school officials won’t let Rawlins take part in the commencement ceremony with all of his classmates.
Rawlins is reportedly banned from the walking during the graduation for what he said on social media. Rawlins took to Facebook and Twitter in support of three football teammates who were expelled after an incident involving drugs and weapons. Then, in an separate tweet, criticized the school board.
Many community members have been upset by the decision and have shared their support for Rawlins, including Steelers player Charlie Batch, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
By all accounts, Rawlins is a good student, and athlete. His football coach, Andy Pacak calls him the best quarterback in the state, so it is unclear why he isn’t able to participate in commencement.
“His demeanor, his performance in school, his performance in the community, his performance as a leader is, you know, as a coach, you maybe get that once in a lifetime,” Pacak said.
School officials haven’t given a reason why so far and did not respond to requests for interviews.
Rawlins was not available for a comment, but told the Tribune-Review that he hopes school officials change their mind and that even if he can’t walk, he’ll show up to support his friends.
“I hope that Chavas is able to walk and it’ll be the end of it,” Sutovich said.