05. June 2005 · Comments Off on Graduation controversy at Petaluma High · Categories: Home Front, Military

There’s a story here of a graduating high school senior and recent Marine boot camp grad who is not being allowed to wear his Marine uniform to graduation. Well, he can wear it, but he has to wear his cap and gown over it.

I read the story at The Education Wonks, where I also left a comment. Here’s an excerpt:

… I’d have to agree with the Marines, who said that the young man should conform to the wishes of the school.

One thing that Mr. Kiernan (either the son or father, take your pick) will come to understand about the military is that they appreciate the importance of tradition, including the traditions of other institutions. Tradition for high school graduation is no different in this respect. The principal even adopted the right tone: cap and gown is the “uniform of the day.”

My concern is that this story has the potential to become one of those that travels around the internet as a tale of the anti-military attitude of public school officials. I hope not. Sounds to me like the prinicpal has done nothing that I would consider anti-military, and it appears that the Marines agree. It’s certainly nothing like the story of the Georgia principal I wrote about last week who wouldn’t let a Marine visit a Middle School classroom.

In the end, it sounds like a gracious compromise has been reached:

A possible solution to the whole dilemma, “to pacify a lot of flames that have been brought up with veterans groups,” would be for the high school to announce Kiernan’s military status when they read his name, the Marine Sgt. said.

I’d be curious what others think, but really, do you want to argue with a Marine Sgt?

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