High school graduate Megan Howerton rightfully earned her degree by working hard in every class she took. But she was banned from walking in her graduation alongside her fellow classmates.
It was because of what she was wearing. And it's not because it was too low-cut or too revealing.
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Megan Howerton, who is a Marine, was wearing her military dress blues for graduation, instead of the traditional graduation gown. Since she wasn't wearing the same attire as everyone else--cap and gown--she was not allowed to participate in the walk.
Her friends were furious. The day after the ceremony, they staged a protest by the school over her not being able to walk with them.
"Megan graduated early," her friend Sammi Lindgren said. "She did thirteen weeks of boot camp. She just went through so much to achieve and become a Marine. And then she’s not allowed to walk and she’s not mentioned. And she doesn’t present the colors, and it’s just very disrespectful to her."
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In response to the controversy, the school released this statement:
"The district and administration in no way looked to prevent the participation of this graduate or any graduate who has chosen to serve our nation. Rather, the administration communicated in advance via letter, senior meeting, and practice, all the protocols expected of graduates, including attire. In some past cases, active-duty students elected to wear their gowns over top of their military uniforms, with their military hats, which was allowed. There was no communication to the administration that attire protocols would not be followed prior to the ceremony. The tradition of cap and gown regalia is aimed at the idea that our graduates are celebrated as a whole and in similar attire."
In the meantime, the students plan to attend a board meeting next month to try to convince school officials to change this policy on military uniforms.
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