Mother, recently widowed, heartbroken after school bans valedictorian son from graduation

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Devan Solanki went from Valedictorian, at the top of his class at Lodi High School and getting ready to make a speech at graduation, to now being banned from the celebration altogether.

Devan admits he's had a tough time with the administration since his sophomore year. He is known to be an outspoken student, who speaks out and talks back.

But with no recent run-ins he says he doesn't understand why the school's principal, Frank D'Amico, suddenly changed his mind.

"I was told I would no longer be giving the speech. There would be a change of policy and that a member of the National Honor Society would be given a chance to apply to give the speech," Devan said.

That was about a week ago. On Monday, Devan said he tried to meet with his guidance counselor on the matter, but even that didn't go as planned.

"I made a comment saying I'd like to resolve this peacefully. I guess they took that as an ultimatum or as an or else statement," explained Devan.

The school believed that to be a threat, according to Devan and his mother. He was ordered to have a mental evaluation before he could return for his final days of school.

The doctor's note clearly stated Devan was not in danger to himself or others. But despite that all clear, Devan was suspended for 5 days and told he was no longer allowed to attend graduation.

Devan's mother, Nayana, said she understands the suspension, but is devastated she will miss out on seeing her oldest child in his cap and gown.

"I am very upset. That's like our dream. I apologized to him. At least let him go to graduation," Nayana explained to us of pleading to the school's principal.

It's been a tough year for the family. Devan's father passed away only 8 months ago and Nayana said the family even delayed their trip to India to spread her husband's ashes, so they could attend Devan's graduation.

PIX11 News reached out to the school and the Lodi Public School District Thursday, but never received a call back.