According to ABC, a graduating student at a High School in Louisiana was told he wouldn't be able to take part in his graduation ceremony.  The scholar athlete had a 4.0 GPA and was the class valedictorian.  So why wasn't he able to walk?  He had a beard.

There is a long standing rule at Amite High School that men are not allowed to have facial hair at graduation.  So when he was asked to go home and shave, and he refused, he was told that he would not be able to address his class or attend the ceremony at all.

“I personally asked him to please go and shave so that he can walk with the other kids. He chose not to. I even asked the parents standing here to have him follow the policy.” - School Superintendent Mark Kolwe

I can see two sides to this story.  On one hand, I can see people who say that they should have let it slide.  The young man has a 4.0 gpa, he's the valedictorian, what difference does a beard make?

The other side is kind of where I stand.  There are so many people who complain that "kids these days have no respect for authority" and in many cases I agree.  Let me say, I know there are good kids out there.  There are lots of them.  But for many of them, in order to encourage respect for authority, they have many lessons to learn in following rules.

I've seen the bumper stickers:  Question the answers.  But you can't have it both ways.  Respect is something that's earned and it's something that's learned.

Maybe the beard isn't such a big deal.  But a rule is a rule.  What's good for one, has to be good for all.  And lets be honest, comparatively how many times will this young man be able to grow a beard in his life?  Now answer this one, how many times will he be able to address his senior class as the valedictorian?  Maybe the beard isn't that important.

So what do you think?  Should he have been allowed to take part or did the school do the right thing by enforcing the rule?