With all he had done at such a young age, Jacob Dalton Stanley had plenty to be proud of. After finishing his high school requirements months ahead of schedule, the Indiana kid enrolled in the Marine Corps. The young guy completed boot camp and boarded an aircraft just before his high school graduation ceremony, returning home in time to attend his high school graduation. But, things did not proceed as planned.
Stanley, who arrived in full dress blue Marine Corps uniform, was refused the right to walk the graduation stage with his classmates since he did not wear the mandatory standard cap and gown. Stanley, on the other hand, had been warned. When Stanley attended his Crown Point High School senior class graduation practice earlier that day, the school’s administrator, Chip Pettit, told him that he couldn’t wear his uniform to the ceremony.
Jacob Dalton Stanley, apparently opted to disregard the instruction, since he attended graduation in his Marine Corps outfit. To his surprise, the principal followed through on his threat, and the graduate was turned away. While Pettit and the school have faced much criticism for their decision, the principal claims it is a long-standing school policy that was communicated to Stanley.
While he realizes Stanley, his family, and many others are outraged, he says the school usually has no trouble enforcing the graduation dress code. This tradition has served them well since it allows the class to express togetherness by dressing the same, while simultaneously recognizing individual achievements by wearing stoles and cords, Pettit stated.
This practice is not meant to be insulting to students, parents, or their community, he said, but to be a source of pride for their pupils. It is also not meant to be insulting to their students who have chosen to serve in the military, their current-duty servicemen and women, or their veterans, Pettit said. They will be eternally thankful for the everyday sacrifices they make for their freedom.
While the guidelines seem to be fairly straightforward, several students, as well as many others who have heard the news, have taken issue with the school’s decision, calling it “stupid.” To make things worse, Stanley was not only barred from attending the celebration, but his name was not spoken out in appreciation of his accomplishment.
He’s in the military, risking his life for them. It’s unconscionable that he couldn’t go across the stage. If he wishes to go across the stage in the uniform that he fought so hard for and earned, he should be allowed to do so, said Leann Tustison, a fellow Crown Point alumnus. It is his accomplishment. They recognized other people’s accomplishments, whether in triathlon or other pursuits.
Even if it is a long shot, it should be emphasized that Stanley was made aware of the regulations ahead of time. Therefore, if you don’t like the rules, it’s much better to strive to alter them rather than just breaking them. Stanley, as a member of the military, should grasp the significance of regulations and set a good example by following them. After all, Marines who engaged in similar conduct while serving their nation would face significantly harsher punishment. But why would the school have such a regulation in the first place?
Ana Kritikos, a graduate who had also enrolled in the Marine Corps, was allowed to wear her military uniform at commencement ceremonies at adjacent Hobart High School, proving that point. Marine Private First Class Kritikos, like Stanley, graduated early in order to join.
When she returned for graduation, she said that when she voiced her wish to wear her uniform, she got complete support from the high school administration. They have been just incredible. Kritikos stated that the Marines are fine with them wearing their uniforms to high school graduation. She understands that the School Board, the principal, and the superintendent discussed it and agreed that she could wear the Military outfit.
Couldn’t Principal Pettit and Crown Point have made the same decision? Hobart Superintendent Peggy Buffington, in contrast to Principal Pettit and Crown Point, said that her school goes out of its way to acknowledge graduates who join the military.
By having their graduates stand, they thank audience members and prospective military personnel. When the crowd roars with appreciation, it is always a really memorable and patriotic moment, Buffington remarked. This year was particularly pleasant since Ana Kritikos graduated midterm and arrived just in time for the graduation ceremony.
They have recognized her and her accomplishments in the Marine Corps, Buffington stated. She is a Military Occupation Specialist, Private First Class. She is now serving in Virginia in their intelligence specialist class and began her training in January. They are really pleased with her achievements.
According to a US Marine Corps official, the military does not get involved with graduation dress codes. The Marine Corps does not specify which high schools students may or may not graduate from, Marine Corps Major Clark Carpenter remarked. It is a choice for school administration.
While nothing can be undone, individuals who choose to serve before graduation might benefit from Jacob Dalton Stanley’s experience. Be sure you understand the school regulations, and if you don’t like them, make an effort to alter them before you are denied the opportunity to participate in such a historic occasion while simultaneously having your service accomplishment acknowledged.
If your school has such restrictions, try amending them. Is there any justification for denying a student the opportunity to wear his or her military uniform to graduation? That would seem to be encouraging since it sets a positive example for the service member’s peers.