MIDDLE VILLAGE, Queens — Dozens rallied Wednesday in support of a Queens high school student who was told by his school that he could not have the name Malcolm X printed on the back of his senior sweater — even though that is his real name.
Malcolm Xavier Combs, 17, is a student at Christ the King High School. He requested that his first name and middle initial be printed on the back of his senior sweater. He was summoned into the assistant principal's office and told that his request had been denied.
“[The assistant principal] told me she couldn’t put my name on a sweater... said she did not want to be associated with that name," he said.
The honor roll student was told could have his first name, his last name or Malcolm Xavier on his sweater, but not Malcolm X. The school said they didn’t want to be associated with anyone controversial, according to Combs.
“I was in shock in this year that she would say something like that," he said.
His parents were also shocked and asked for help from civil rights organization National Action Network, founded by the Reverend Al Sharpton. Sharpton and Malcolm X's daughter Ilyasah Shabazz have rallied in support of the teen.
Christ the King High School told PIX11 News that their policy has always been to allow students to use either their first or last name on the senior sweatshirt. Nicknames, middle names and middle initials have never been allowed.