An Illinois high school is facing backlash after refusing to let a U.S. Marine walk at her graduation while wearing her dress blues.It shouldn't surprise you to learn that I side with the school on this one.
Marine Corps Pvt. Megan Howerton technically graduated from McHenry West High School several months ago, finishing up early so she could attend bootcamp, but she attended Thursday’s ceremony so she could walk with the rest of her class, a local ABC News affiliate reported.
When she arrived at her graduation in full uniform, officials determined she violated the dress code and wouldn’t let her participate without wearing the traditional gown, the station reported.
As a Marine, young Pvt. Howerton should understand the concept of a "uniform"--which, at graduation, means a specific cap and gown. While her accomplishment in becoming a Marine is certainly one to be lauded, a high school graduation is not the right venue for that. She wore her Marine uniform at her graduation from boot camp, when and where it was the appropriate uniform. I don't think the Marine Corps would have approved of a "compromise" to wear her uniform under her cap and gown; I assume that would have been against regulations.
Dressing requirements for graduations are published well in advance of the event; it couldn't have been a surprise to her that she would be expected to wear the appropriate cap and gown. Absent further information it appears to me that she just wanted to stand out, and that is not what a high school graduation is for.