Student Won't Walk at SMSA Graduation Because of Yearbook Quote

High school student Angel Torres's family won't see him cross the stage to get a diploma from Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford because the quote he submitted to the yearbook visually spelled out something profane.

It was published and now Angel has made his mark.

"It didn't have anything bad," he said Wednesday. "It was just how the words were lined up."

Now, the principal at SMSA won't let Angel Torres line up in cap and gown to get his diploma. Angel read his yearbook quote out loud: "SMSA has taught me valuable lessons, such as friendship, unity, community, kindness, youth optimism and understanding. Thank you sports and medical sciences academy."

His sister, Melissa Perez, said, "Since he read it to me, I didn't hear anything wrong with it. I said, 'It's good.'"

You have to see the quote and capitalize the first letters of the words to realize Angel was, well, not being an angel.

"All the students, they saw the yearbook quote, spread it and it got to the teachers then eventually it went up to the principal himself," Torres said.

Angel's family got the fateful phone call from the school Tuesday. For what his quote has done to the SMSA yearbook, Torres won't be allowed to go to graduation Friday.

"Everyone wants to cross the stage and since I can't, that's what really bothers me most," he said.

Hartford Public Schools officials declined to comment.

Angel's sister is offering to write letters of apology to everyone Angel has offended. He can still get his diploma, next week.

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