Student not allowed to wear military uniform at graduation - Tucson News Now

Student not allowed to wear military uniform at graduation

After the high school student’s principle insisted the Army Reservist had to wear a cap and gown, the young man walked out of the ceremony. (Source: KGO/CNN) After the high school student’s principle insisted the Army Reservist had to wear a cap and gown, the young man walked out of the ceremony. (Source: KGO/CNN)

BRENTWOOD, CA (KGO/CNN) – A young Army Reservist says he walked out of his high school graduation when he was told he couldn’t wear his military uniform at the ceremony.

Army Reservist Harland Fletcher, 18, and hundreds of well-wishers attended a substitute graduation ceremony Monday outside Liberty High School in Brentwood, CA.

After the school’s principal insisted the young man had to wear a cap and gown at his graduation last Friday, Fletcher, who wanted to wear his military uniform, walked out and missed the ceremony.

“Legally, this is the uniform. It's perfectly acceptable at ceremonies like this. I can wear this uniform… They told me no, and I told him I can't deface the uniform like that. I can't wear something over this and hide it. This isn't something that should be hidden,” Fletcher said.

The superintendent later issued an online apology, and the principal, Patrick Walsh, apologized at the substitute ceremony.

"I deeply regret what occurred, and I thought I needed to do two things in my life: one, apologize and two, try to find a way to make it better,” Walsh said.

Veterans of the Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard came out in uniform to honor Fletcher for standing his ground as he finally got his diploma.

"I told him, ‘Thank you for standing up for freedom and for liberty’ because he's taking that step for our liberty. So, I wanted to have my grandkids here and support him,” supporter Carmen Jepsen said.

Fletcher’s goal is to make sure that another high school student isn’t forbidden from walking in their graduation ceremony because they are wearing a uniform.

While the school district promises to revise their graduation policy, Fletcher has not yet ruled out filing a lawsuit.

Copyright 2017 KGO, Kaitlyn Stoffregen via CNN. All rights reserved.

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