Dress Blues vs. Polyester Cap and Gown

Written by Lotus on Thursday, 29 of May , 2008 at 9:00 pm

Two students at Chardon High School in Cleveland, Ohio are giving up on-stage diploma presentations so they can wear their hard-earned dress blue uniforms.  WTAM reports:

Will McDonnell, an active duty marine, and Tony Workman, an Army National Guardsman, are graduating from Chardon High School in Geauga County.

McDonnell took extra classes and met his graduation requirements last fall so he could attend a 13-week Marine Boot Camp in February.  Workman went through the Army’s 10-week basic training last summer. 

McDonnell tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 he was stunned when his dad told him the news. He says he and Workman had previously been told they would be allowed to wear their uniforms.

McDonnell says Principal Doug Delong did listen to their concerns, but says he doesn’t want to open the door for similar requests from members of other organizations. The two will be allowed to lead in the Honor Guard in their uniforms.

But Delong says if they don’t wear the robe and cap for the ceremony, they can’t walk on stage with the other students on Saturday.  McDonnell tells our Bill Wills they will wear their uniforms, but will simply stand at their seats when their names are called.

Good for them.  I understand if the school wants to have a “zero tolerance” dress code for their ceremony.  Life is about choices.  These young men are choosing to be recognized for their hard work in basic training and want to wear the uniform they earned.   I’d venture to say that getting through 13 weeks of basic training is more commendable than 13 years in a public school. 

Check out the entire statement from the school.  I can’t help but laugh at this silly ending, “We believe that wearing your school’s cap and gown to receive your diploma is a show of respect to your school, fellow classmates, and for the public education you have been privileged to receive.” [emphasis added]

Not that internet polls mean much, but readers of the news report (presumeably funders of their public education, as well) overwhelmingly voted that the students should be allowed to wear their dress uniforms on stage.



H/T Fark.com (those folks are the best despite never greenlighting me)

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.