Tue, Jun 23, 2009 1:14 PM EDT

school12.jpgphoto credit: David Rapkin In protest to the Los Angeles Unified School District layoffs and cuts, fifteen students at Liechty Middle School in Los Angeles turned their backs during their graduation ceremony. For this they were not allowed to obtain their diplomas.

"The students turned their backs on graduation speaker Monica Garcia, LAUSD Board President, to express their displeasure to teacher layoffs and cutbacks," press materials explain. Principal Jeanette Stevens then decided to withhold the protesting students' diplomas. "The students had completed all their graduation requirements and were within their free speech protected rights."

Today their parents are speaking out on their behalf to demand the diplomas their kids are due. Read the full story on LAist.