A U.S. Marine was denied the opportunity to participate in his Indiana high school’s graduation ceremony this week — because he proudly wore dress blues for the occasion.
Seriously?? U.S. Marine barred from walking at high school graduation because his military uniform went against the dress code pic.twitter.com/pzn7AgYSIZ
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) June 9, 2017
Although administrators at Crown Point High School, located 45 miles south of Chicago, told PFC. Jacob Stanley that he was required to show up for his class of 2017 graduation ceremony in the standard cap and gown, he showed up in his dress uniform instead.
And who can blame him? In the words of the Corps’ recruiting slogan, he was a newly-minted member of “The few and the proud.”
The decision has since created a storm of commentary on social media — mostly directed against the school, Chicago NBC affiliate Channel 5 News reported.
“I don’t want the social media controversy that is drawing attention away from the Class of 2017,” Stanley said in a statement issued by the 9th Marine Corps District, Naval Station Great Lakes. “I also do not want to make any additional statements and wish to put this all behind me so I can start my career in the Marine Corps.”
Principal Chip Pettit told the station that the school’s strict adherence to its cap and gown policy shouldn’t be taken as a sign of contempt to Stanley’s accomplishment.
“This tradition is not intended to be disrespectful to students, parents, or our community, but as a source of pride for our students,” Pettit said. “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.”
Other area high schools have more relaxed standards. In neighboring Hobart High, another new Marine was permitted to wear his uniform in the June 1 ceremony in lieu of the cap and gown.
Marine Corps Recruiting Station Indianapolis marketing and public affairs representative Tyler Mitchell said that while he understands Stanley’s pride for the uniform, he also realizes that different schools have different policies.
“We also recognize that there are policies in place which outline graduation dress codes and the appropriate wear of Marine Corps uniforms when in public,” Mitchell said in a statement. “As high school graduations recognize the academic accomplishments of the class and the class’s final chapter at that institution, the decision to allow individuals to wear uniforms during graduations is at the discretion of the school.”
Clip via NBC 5 Chicago
People on social media were ready to attack the school in Stanley’s support.
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And the branch he is serving needs to show up in support of him at graduation in their uniforms
— Danielle Knott (@dknott409) June 9, 2017
roger that! but dont think they can. students shld all put USMC stickers on caps.
— Win baby win! (@JDemaestri) June 9, 2017
That is insurrection on the part of that High School.
— Jeree Gee Stavich (@JereeGeeStavich) June 9, 2017
I agree Ray, give us the name. This is like political correct reporting when it comes to race or religion.
— Peanut (@PeanutRulez) June 9, 2017
Seriously ???♀️ have some respect!! This is absolutely pathetic!! This is how we treat our military? Really disgusting!!
— Brooke (@Brooke1208NY) June 9, 2017
Without young men like him there would be no school for the others to graduate from. Such a shame. God Bless this young man.
— Donna-Marie (@dmtennis56) June 9, 2017
Pettit reiterated that his adherence to the rules was merely a policy matter having nothing to do with the young Marine’s service.
“We are forever grateful for the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis for our freedom,” he said.
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