Pregnant Teen Defies Graduation Ban, Announces Own Name

High school senior was barred from ceremony, but student who fathered child could attend.

All Alysha Cosby wanted to do was receive her diploma along with her peers. But the pregnant senior at the St. Jude Educational Institute, a Roman Catholic high school in Montgomery, Alabama, was banned from the service.

So, she took matters into her own hands. On Tuesday, Cosby walked across the stage at the end of the program and announced her own name, according to a report by The Associated Press. Her march brought cheers and applause from many of her fellow seniors, but her mom and aunt were walked out of the church by police as Cosby marched back to her seat.

"I can't believe something like this is happening in 2005," her mother, Sheila Cosby, told the AP. "My daughter has been through a lot and I am proud of her. She deserved to walk, and she did."

Cosby's degree had been delivered to her home earlier on Tuesday by a school guidance counselor, but the teen said she was determined to take the stage with her friends. "I worked hard throughout high school and I wanted to walk with my class," said Cosby, whose name was not listed in the graduation program. The father of the baby, a fellow senior at the school, was allowed to participate in the ceremony.

In March, school administrators had informed Cosby that she was not allowed to attend school for the remainder of the year because of safety concerns.