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High School Student Barred From Graduation Ceremony For Wearing His Marine Uniform

Jacob Dalton Stanley was pretty proud of what he had accomplished. He completed high school early last December, and he promptly enlisted in the Marines.

Stanley wrapped up boot camp in time for his high school graduation ceremony, and he arrived back at home in time to participate. As the Daily Mail shares, he would be denied the opportunity to march with his classmates - because he showed up for the ceremony in his Marine Corps uniform.

Stanley participated in rehearsals with his classmates earlier in the day, and he was wearing his uniform then as well. The school’s principal, Chip Pettit, informed him that he couldn’t wear his uniform to the ceremony.

Stanley ignored that directive, and he was turned away when he arrived in his uniform. Pettit and the school are receiving backlash over the issue, but he notes that it’s a long-standing school policy that was made clear to Stanley.

“This practice has served us well as it has allowed the class to show unity by dressing the same, but also allowing for individual accomplishments to be recognized by wearing stoles and chords,” he notes.

While he understands that Stanley and his family are upset, he also notes that they typically have no problem with the standards as outlined.

“This tradition is not intended to be disrespectful to students, parents, or our community, but as a source of pride for our students. 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,” Pettit said. “We are forever grateful for the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis for our freedom.”

Sounds pretty cut and dry, but some students have taken umbrage with the school’s decision. Not only was Stanley prohibited from marching in the ceremony, but his name was also not called out.

“He's in the military putting his life on the line for us. It's unacceptable that he was not allowed to walk across the stage. If he wants to walk across the stage in his uniform that he worked so hard for and earned, he should have the right to do that,” said one student. “That's his achievement. They honored other people's achievements whether they were in triathlon or other activities.”

That’s a fair point, but Stanley could’ve also stepped up to the plate and led by example to respect the school’s policy. No one is denying his service or making it into any kind of issue whatsoever, and he still would have been able to acknowledge his achievement by wearing a chord.

Of course, confusion sets in because other schools see things differently and allow students in the service to wear their uniforms.

While it’s clear that wearing the uniform during the ceremony meant something to Stanley, this situation also reeks of a cry for attention as the policy was clearly outlined for him. He decided to ignore it, and he was promptly turned away.

Marines that exhibited similar behavior while serving their country would face far more severe consequences.

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Source: Daily Mail
Photo: Facebook via Daily Mail, Jbcannon727/Wikimedia, Jeremy Jenum/Flickr Generic Photo, US Marines/Sgt. Tabitha Markovich

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