Anna Martinez and her son, 18-year-old Luis Martinez, were separately detained during the bizarre graduation fracas. Video from the event shows lots of students waving to their parents as they make their way on stage, the class valedictorian included, but only Martinez and about eight others were detained.
Anna noticed that when the other students returned to their seats after first coming out on stage, her son was nowhere to be seen. Then, she got a call from him.
"He says, 'Mom, they're not going to give me my diploma,'" Anna recalled. She then went looking for someone in charge to try and get some answers.
"I said, 'So, what do I have to do, then? Do I have to go on stage to talk to him?" the mother explained, though she says she never actually attempted to get on stage herself.
San Antonio Independent School District's chief communications officer Leslie Price disagrees, and accused Anna of trying to get on the stage herself. Price said "attempts were made to diffuse the situation," in a statement.
The school also claims that they did not see that the valedictorian had waved.
Before she knew it, Anna says, an officer grabbed her arm and locked her in handcuffs. She can be seen on video telling officers that they're hurting her, and accuses them of yanking her arm in two separate occasions. In a video interview with Fox San Antonio a few days later, she can be seen wearing a sling around one of her arms. "Emotionally, I was distraught. I was embarrassed," she said.
Luckily, all of the students were able to receive their diplomas, and Luis will be going to college, according to a livestream of the ceremony.
Apparently, it's against the rules for the students to wave during the ceremony, a rule Martinez said school administrators ought to know it's okay to bend. "How can you control an emotion? Sometimes you can't — especially something so spectacular," Martinez told Fox San Antonio.
"These children waved, they spent their four years working so hard," Martinez said of the student procession. "I saw my son studying, coming and going, then when he became a father, working part time, going to school," she said of her son.