With no cap and gown, Independence prankster banned from graduation celebrates with family

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence teen who was banned from graduation celebrated with friends and family Saturday, but it would have been nice, he says, if he could've had a photo of himself in a cap and gown, too.

On Saturday morning, Truman High School's class of 2018 graduated in Independence. At the same time, senior Kylan Scheele and his mother met with FOX4 in their front yard.

Kylan Scheele

"Today, I would be walking if all the events didn't lead up to where it's at," Scheele said. "I would be walking at graduation."

Scheele wasn't allowed to participate in his graduation with the rest of the senior class, but the 18-year-old isn't too bothered.

"I don't mind," he said. "It's just more of missing out on the experience."

He said walking in a cap and gown is just symbolic, but he said the said the same thing about the Craigslist ad he made a week ago, offering his high school up for sale for $12,000.

The part that got him in hot water was saying the reason for the sale was because of "the loss of students coming up."

Scheele said that refers to his graduating class leaving Truman High. The Independence School District saw it as a threat against the class.

"I can see how you can see that point of view if you don`t read the rest of the context," he said. "I think a lot of people can see it the way I see it -- that there was no threat. I kind of don`t regret it, but at the same time, yeah, because I can`t walk."

The district suspended Scheele for three days and that prevented him from getting his cap, gown and ticket for graduation when they were handed out at school.

The ALCU of Missouri got involved Thursday, saying the district was stifling the teen's First Amendment rights, and on Friday, a judge sided with the district, saying it was within the school's rights to keep Scheele from walking.

"I`m graduating. Yay," the 18-year-old said. "But a lot of people wanted to see me walk, and that`s not going to happen."

Scheele will still get his diploma, and there is still a lawsuit, filed by the ACLU, against the school district.

"Denying the senior the ability to walk after they worked 13 years, that`s definitely unusual punishment," Scheele said.

A spokesperson for the Independence School District said there were two separate incidents, including the Craigslist ad, that raised concerns this week. Between the two, roughly 30 parents and students contacted school officials, worried about safety.

So the district said it acted out of an abundance of caution with discipline for the students and extra officers at school.