BUCKEYE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - School picture day turned out to be a big disappointment for a Buckeye Union High School student. The girl wore a Black Lives Matter shirt to school -- a shirt she says is important to her, but the teen says the administrators wouldn't let her wear it -- and made her change.
Fifteen-year-old Mariah Havard says that adding to her confusion is the fact that another student has worn a Confederate flag shirt to class before -- that's why when she was asked to change out of her Black Lives Matter shirt, she felt like she was being unfairly targeted.
Harvard says just after arriving at school on picture day, administrators asked her to change her shirt because it was "disruptive," but the shirt has three words printed on it -- which mean a lot to her.
"Black Lives Matter.. we're not saying that your life doesn't matter, we're saying that your life does matter, but so does ours," she said.
Before she changed into the white shirt provided by the school, she snapped a picture and posted her thoughts on Facebook. She also called her mother, Roxanne.
"She understands what BLM means. That's why she wears the shirt, that's why her father purchased it for her, she understands its positivity, black people should be treated just as fairly as any other race, and right now in the world, that's not what's going on," said Roxanne.
To show solidarity, Mariah's friend Genesis wore the same shirt on Tuesday and was sent to the principal's office, where after an exchange with administrators, her father removed her from school.
"Today, I felt as though I was being punished for being proud and proud of my culture, which in the principal's office, my dad kept on asking him why they're suppressing me and why it's not okay for me to be proud of who I am," said Genesis.
Now the girls say it's sparked a divide in the school, adding they've heard some students claim Thursday may get heated.
"There's going to be fights, separate sides and some are going to wear BLM shirts and some are going to wear Confederate flags," said Mariah.
FOX 10's Marcy Jones stopped by Buckeye Union High School to get their take on things. Officials said they would have the superintendent get back to us and we still haven't heard from them.
Mariah says the school did make an announcement after class, saying that no student is to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt or a Confederate flag shirt -- and there will be consequences if that is not followed.