KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Five students at A.C. Prep Secondary School in Kansas City, Mo. couldn't walk at graduation Tuesday night because of an incident on a school trip last Friday.
There are few prouder moms that Arik Adams' mom. He's valedictorian of his senior class at A.C. Prep.
"I took college classes, AP classes, I made all A's in all my classes," said Arik.
Yet he, along with four other seniors, couldn't walk at graduation.
"I was very disappointed," Arik said. "And my family was disappointed, and I just wanted to walk across the stage so my family could be proud, and give my speech as the valedictorian of the class."
Arik said they had a class field trip this past Friday at the Legends Outlets. On the bus ride back, he said kids were cursing and throwing pennies and a teacher told the school.
"I shouldn't have been cursing, and I shouldn't have been making throwing motions, because she said I was making throwing motions, and I was," Arik explained. "I shouldn't have been doing that, but that's not the punishment I should have received."
He said the school reviewed the video on the bus and decided a proper punishment would be to not allow Arik and four other seniors involved to walk at graduation.
"I felt like my son got sentenced a five-year prison term for a speeding ticket!" said Arik's mom, Quiahenya Walker, who also felt the punishment was unfair.
Kansas City Public Schools released a statement to FOX 4 on Thursday regarding the incident and its decision:
"Kansas City Public Schools is not a liberty to discuss the concerns raised by the African Centered Prep valedictorian and his family. Federal privacy laws prevent KCPS from sharing information about individual student cases. However, the district believes thatgraduation is a privilege, not a right. KCPS has guidelines in place and students are well aware before they graduate the types of instances that can cause them not to be able to participate in commencement exercises. The district stands by its decision."
Other seniors who did get their opportunity to walk at graduation feel the same way as Arik's mom.
"I think that's very unfair for the families, and everybody," said Louis Sheppard, Arik's friend and classmate, "They even apologized and everything, but they still didn't let him walk."
"They said I couldn't be on the property, I couldn't be on any KCMO public school district property," added Arik, "I couldn't even go to the graduation to see my friends walk."
Arik said the other four seniors who couldn't walk were equally upset, and they feel the punishment was too cruel for what happened on that bus.
"Kids will be kids," said Walker, "It was seniors, their last day of school, everybody has been there."
"This is my first offense in all of my school history," Arik added, "and to not be able to walk..."
Arik is attending the University of Missouri in the fall and he's won a $200,000 dollar Kauffman scholarship to help pay for school. He also was accepted to Kansas State University and Stanford University.