SALEM Students at South Salem High School held a rally Wednesday, in support of a classmate who has been forbidden to attend graduation.

Raul Villareal claims he was confronted by police and school administrators outside his prom on May 17 and forced to falsely admit he had smoked pot. He was later told that he could not attend graduation and other school activities as a punishment.

His father voluntarily took him for a drug test a few days later and submitted the results to the school. The test came up negative for marijuana or any other type of drug use, even though it can pick up pot use within 30 days.

Despite the negative drug test, administrators said he still would not be allowed to attend graduation.

On Wednesday, fellow students walked out of class to protest the school s decision.

Friends said the drug test should clear Villareal s name.

Villareal was also suspended after prom and he already served that five-day punishment during the week of May 19.. He will graduate and has been accepted to Western Oregon University but feels he will miss out on a special experience because he can t walk at graduation.

Nearly 600 students also signed a petition on Villareal s behalf, but the principal said any appeal likely won't happen before Friday's graduation.

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