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Response to media about military cords at graduation

posted Jun 19, 2018, 5:39 PM by Valerie Newton
Media Release

June 18, 2018

RE: Student not allowed to wear cord

A letter from the West Bladen High school principal was mailed to students homes on May 24, 2018 and was also emailed on the same day to students in their school Gmail account. * A copy of the letter can be located at the bottom of this page. Additionally, the letter was read aloud to students at both Tuesday, June 12 and Thursday, June 14 graduation rehearsals. Students also received an additional copy of the letter at Tuesday’s, June 12 rehearsal. All requirements and expectations for graduation are outlined in the letter.

Nationally recognized Academic cords are the only cords allowable or permissible during high school graduation.  These guidelines serve as a function of a school’s legitimate interest in celebrating academic achievement and showing class unity.

Any group or organization can provide a cord for any reason, and students are allowed to wear such other cords at Baccalaureate and awards programs, but not during the official graduation ceremony.

Typically, high schools (even colleges and universities) limit what cords/stoles graduates can wear to graduation ceremonies to ensure a unified ceremony. Honor cords are given to those students who have met the standards of a State or National organization which sponsors an Honor Society and to which the local organization has an active affiliation.

Cords/Stoles that are allowable during the official graduation at West Bladen High School are:

·       Honor Graduates (Summa cum Laude – Purple cord, Magna cum Laude – Silver cord, Cum Laude – White cord)

·       CTE Completers – Red cord

·       National Art Honor Society – Multicolored cord

·       National Technical Honor Society – Purple/Silver cord

·       National Beta student – Gold stole and Gold tassel

* West Bladen High School does not have a National Honor Society (NHS) chapter.

The school nor the JROTC program do not issue military cords to students. Any military cord that a student receives is given by the enlisting officer.

Refusal to comply with the published graduation guidelines can justify excluding a student from the graduation ceremony or from receiving their diploma on the day of graduation. No student’s diploma is taken away but instead is held by school administration for pick-up by the student the following week .

While not allowing a student to wear a military cord may lead to the perception that we are not patriotic … this could not be further from the truth. Our mission, in part, is to develop responsible citizens. We cannot think of a more responsible citizen than the ones who select to or are chosen to serve the United States of America.

Valerie Newton,
Jun 19, 2018, 5:39 PM