Graduate told he can't walk in ceremony because of security threat

Graduate told he can't walk in ceremony because of security threat
Kaurice Boyd was told he cannot walk at graduation because of a threat targeted at one of his friends.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As hundreds of Thomas Jefferson High seniors prepare for graduation Saturday, at least one classmate won't be able to join them.

Eighteen-year-old Kaurice Boyd is one of the students who was isolated - along with two other students - on Wednesday night, as parents and friends were told to evacuate the Altria Theatre during the middle of graduation because of a gun threat.

Kaurice Boyd just wants to walk with his classmates. Because he can't, he feels he's being punished, all because of a threat his family says wasn't directly targeted at him.

Thomas Jefferson High's star track and football athlete has big plans for the future.

"Go to school. Major in Human Resources and minor in Business," said Boyd. "JMU for my Masters."

It's why high school graduation means so much to him.

"It's just the fact that I made it. I did this," said Boyd.

On Wednesday, that exciting moment came to a screeching halt, when school leaders made the announcement at the Altria Theatre:

"'Everyone must evacuate,'" said Boyd. "They told everyone go downstairs to the basement."

He and two other classmates were isolated from the rest of the graduates, he says, because a threat of gun violence at graduation was targeted at one of his friends.

Boyd says school leaders won't allow him or his two friends to walk across the stage at the rescheduled ceremony Saturday, due to safety.

Boyd believes he would be safe if he did walk, because the threat has nothing to do with him.

Richmond Public Schools says it cannot go into detail regarding its decision, saying student safety remains a priority.

"Everybody in our senior class is like, 'we're rooting for you. we want you to walk.'"

The 18-year-old even says some of his classmates are willing to sacrifice their big moment, because he won't be able to have his.

"Some of my peers said they're not going to walk, a good amount. They said if you're not walking, I'm not walking either," said Boyd.

The teen says even though he has his diploma, getting to walk across the stage with his classmates is the highlight. He says the other two students who were told they can't walk, don't want to anyway.

Thomas Jefferson High School's rescheduled graduation begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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