So Indiana’s Crown Point High School recently forbade a student from walking the stage to get his diploma while wearing his Marine uniform at his graduation ceremony, and people (including us) aren’t too happy about it.
Jacob Dalton Stanley graduated in December from the high school. He completed Marine boot camp last Friday and flew home to attend his senior class graduation ceremony. During practice, Principal Chip Pettit reportedly told Stanley that he was not allowed to wear his uniform at the weekend graduation. Stanley decided to wear his dress blues anyway. The Marines do not have a policy on dress for high school graduations, leaving the decision up to the individual school districts.
Pettit, in addressing the issue regarding Stanley, told Fox News: “We have continued wearing the traditional gown, as this is the last formal event of the year and a celebration of the time our graduating seniors have spent at Crown Point High School. This tradition is not intended to be disrespectful to students, parents, or our community, but as a source of pride for our students. It is also not intended to be disrespectful to our students choosing to serve in the military, our active duty servicemen and women and our veterans. We are forever grateful for the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis for our freedom.”
We say, talk is cheap, Chip.
Stanley declined to comment, but his classmates were outraged. Fellow graduate Leann Tustison said, “if he wants to walk across the stage in his uniform that he worked so hard for and earned, he should have the right to do that. That’s his achievement. They honored other people’s achievements whether they were in triathlon or other activities.”
We’re with Leann on this one. Shouldn’t we all be happy and proud to support our kids going into the military and fighting for our freedom?
It’s not just Marine uniforms that are causing controversy throughout the country, either. In Kokomo, Indiana, and Redlands, California high school graduates enlisting in the U.S. Army are not allowed to wear their Army stoles over their robes at graduation.
The Redlands School District told Fox that “we are totally supportive of our men and women in the military. This has nothing to do with a lack of our support.”
Again, talk is cheap. And saying one thing while doing another is hypocrisy. How’s that for an SAT word, high school administrators?
One light of hope: Earlier this month, Indiana’s Hobart High School did allow Marine Private 1st Class Ana Kritikos to wear her uniform at graduation.
Hobart schools superintendent Peggy Buffington told the Times of Northwest Indiana that it is, in fact, a tradition: “We recognize audience members and future military in our graduates by having them stand. It is always a very special and patriotic moment where the audience roars with applause.”
To which we can only say a hearty “Hooah!”