Two Ogden, Utah graduates were denied their high school diplomas because they took off their robes to walk across the stage in their Army uniforms. Layton High School requires students to wear only the blue graduation robes, apparently to prevent Tongan and Samoan students from wearing leis. (Why is it so terrible to wear a lei? Who knows?) LeRoy Hunt and Josh Harmon are National Guard soldiers. Bob Lonsberry tells the story.
At their graduation last week, underneath their robes, (Hunt and Harmon) wore their Army uniforms. And then, as they handed their name card to be read and walked across the stage to take their diplomas, they each in their turn removed the gown and showed the uniform.
How did the crowd react?
With thunderous applause.
How did the administration react?
By withholding the diplomas. They will be assigned community service by the administration, and then maybe they will be given their diplomas and be officially certified as graduates.
I hope service in the National Guard counts as “service” with the administration.
I have some sympathy for administrators who are trying to control behavior in students who are within seconds of not being students. If the students had removed their robes to moon the audience, it would make sense to withhold the diplomas as a warning to future graduates. But Army uniforms? And leis? This is not disrespectful to classmates or to the school.