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Diploma Denied to Student Who Blew Kiss to Family, Pointed at Friends

A Maine high school senior was denied his diploma at graduation after he took a bow when his name was called, pointed to friends and blew a kiss to his family.

Justin Denney was graduating from Bonny Eagle High School June 12 and had gotten up on stage to receive his diploma when he gestured to his friends and relatives.

School Superintendent Suzanne Lukas abruptly told Denney to return to his seat, according to WMTW TV in Maine. He didn't get his diploma.

His mother, Mary Denney, is livid. Her son told her that the superintendent warned, "There's no fooling around up here."

"He just kind of looked at her because he wasn't fooling around. He didn't consider that fooling around or misbehaving in any sense of the word," Mary Denney told WMTW.

Lukas reportedly asked the soon-to-be graduate why he thought he deserved a diploma.

"He goes, 'Because I worked hard and I earned it,' and she goes, 'No, go take your seat,'" his mother told the station.

Other students also walked away empty-handed because of various disruptions during the ceremony. Some started playing with beach balls and others were separated from their friends, according to WMTW.

Mary Denney doesn't believe her son violated any code of conduct.

"There was no misbehavior. Showboating is not misbehavior," she told the station. "A bow, a kiss to your mom is not misbehavior."

The angry mother said she wants Lukas to apologize to her son and present him with his diploma while he is in his cap and gown.

Click here to read more on this story from WMTW TV in Maine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.