A Redlands, California, school district made the news recently when it told one student that he would not be able to wear a privately purchased U.S. Army sash during graduation.
A spokesperson from the Redlands Unified School District told ABC 7 that while they celebrate and appreciate the military, “the dress code doesn’t permit any adornment.”
In a recent letter outlining graduation dress code, the school district wrote that only California Scholarship Federation (CSF) cords will be allowed to be worn during the commencement ceremony.
Elias Velazquez – the student who wanted to wear the Army sash – is not yet enlisted or affiliated with the U.S. Army, but he said he plans on joining the service sometime after graduation.
The Redlands school spoke to a FOX affiliate, saying,”We are totally supportive of our men and women in the military. This has nothing to do with a lack of our support.”
One military official, who spoke to American Military News and asked not to be identified, said it was “silly” Velazquez could not wear the sash.
“If they [the school district] wanted to support this ‘everybody gets the trophy’ attitude, then why is the valedictorian more decorated,” the official asked. “Why do you let those with scholarships and programs get chords? In those instances, they are recognizing students’ achievements, so if a student wants to wear his U.S. Army sash, why don’t we recognize serving in the military as an achievement?”
The school district also added that students may wear sashes before or after the commencement ceremony for pictures, as well as during other graduation events like senior awards night.