Marine Not Allowed To Wear Uniform For High School Graduation

WEXFORD (KDKA) — A young Marine just out of boot camp is fighting a different fight.

The 17-year-old North Allegheny student wants to wear her Marine dress blues to her graduation ceremony, but was told she was not permitted to do so.

Lindsay Starr, of Wexford, graduated from North Allegheny High School early, joined the Marines, spent three months in boot camp, graduated and is ready to serve as a United States Marine.

“When you wear this uniform, you wear it with pride,” she said.

Starr called North Allegheny High School and then visited the campus wearing her dress blues. Her request was to walk across the stage wearing her new uniform.

“I’m just trying to show pride in what I belong to now. I belong to the United States Marine Corps as a 17-year-old,” she said. “Like, c’mon, now.”

The students will gather on Friday night wearing the North Allegheny colors. Starr is fine with that. Still, the teenager is convinced allowing her to wear her dress blues would say a lot about the freedoms we all have.

“We’re here for you, we’re here to serve our country,” Starr said. “We’re here to protect the freedoms that you enjoy, public schools – you enjoy that freedom because someone went out and died for it,” Starr said.

Privately, teachers and students believe Starr should be able to wear her Marine dress blues. That doesn’t matter much. Administrators say policy is policy – wear the school colors – the cap and gown for the graduation ceremony – or don’t walk at all.

“There should be no reason for them to say no,” Starr said. “They don’t have to do anything. I come in my uniform, shake hands, get my diploma and it’s over.”

The school released a statement: “We have had these requests before. We just don’t do it. The required dress is cap and gown.”

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  • Bea

    If I remember, you can wear what you want under the gown. She should wear her uniform, and when the ceremony is over, take that cap & gown off, & be proud to walk around in that uniform. And thank you for serving our country.

    • Sgt C USMC

      It is Not allowed per Marine Corps Order.
      Its not a authorized uniform item covering it. IE Rain coat.
      My heart goes out to her ive been in the Marines for all most 6 years.

      Schools just dont understand college is college but the Marines is forever.

      • Kay

        Then she’ll just have to leave her uniform off, wear her cap and gown, and change after the ceremony.

        By the way, she’s graduating from “high school”…not college. Says so right in the article you supposedly just read. Says it twice in fact.

    • sue

      that’s exacly what i think!

    • Martin V

      I believe Marines or all branches of service must follow the law that for ALL civic events they are required to wear her dress blues or khakis while they are active, unless ordered not to, and according to the uniform federal/military code. Also. those not allowing it are in federal violation of that law.

      I also believe that had she tried to hide the fact that she was an active marine and refused to wear the uniform, she would be in violation of the uniform code and subject to a courts marshal.

      I sense a huge lawsuit coming to the school…. I could be wrong, it’s been a while since I read the books.

      • Art

        Martin V is completely wrong.

        Civilian clothes are supposed to be worn at civilian activities.

        Way back during the Vietnam War, when I served, Marines were trained to follow orders and wear the uniform of the day, which is this case is the cap & gown.

      • Trey

        Martin, she wouldn’t receive a Court Martial. In fact, she would be completely authorized to wear the cap and gown. If I had to go back to high school and re-do my graduation after I joined the military I would not wear my uniform, because the uniform is the cap and gown.

      • J Owen

        Court marshal for uniform violations? Better read some more “books” She should wear the cap and gown. Marines obey rules…. SSgt/USMC/Afghanistan

    • PittWin

      Can’t do that. You can’t wear anything over your uniform unless it is authorized in the uniform regulations. I would rather be true to the Marines than appease North Allegheny High School.

    • GI

      what is your malfunction Marine. You cannot where your uniform underneath your cap and gown, your school says cap and gown and god damn it where a cap and gown. you quoted yourself that you belong to the Marine Corps. well guess what the Marine Corps and its Marines follow rules and regulations. Your school rules is cap and gown. Marine Corp rules forbids the dress blues from being worn under anything. so take your pick.

    • kevin


    • David

      Excellent advice.

    • USMC_0481


      • Gen Pershing

        Hey, USMC, why don’t you take a valium? You are the one disgracing the uniform with your rant. I get a tickle out of how all of the service/ex-service members feel like they have to state their credentials. For my own wedding(S), I wore ADBs.
        She should wear her cap & gown. While she should be proud, regardless of what you think, she shouldn’t try to set herself apart from her classmates. It’s just tacky. Show some class spirit! Chances are, in 4 years, she’ll be ready to burn her uniform and USMC manual anyway.
        6-yrs Army, 15 yrs USCG (I’m such a follower!)

      • Mike

        The only disgrace I see in your post is you. I question whether you are truly a Marine or not. Do you have any idea how many Marines have yet to serve in the wars? Apparently you didn’t die over there so maybe you shouldn’t be talking either.

        From a retired E-9. Listen up Devil Dog – Once a Marine, always a Marine regardles of where or how long they served.

      • Chuck Chuck

        harsh words USMC_0481, but in a way you are right. She just graduated bootcamp, she hasn’t been to SOI: MCT, or let alone her MOS training. Oh good job on jumping and backstabbing your chain of command by running straight to the press. I’m pretty sure your 1stSgt is thrilled that you pretty much told everybody in your chain to f$$k off.

      • Grunt

        actually USMC is right. she’s a boot wook hasnt even been to the fleet yet. she’s most likely going to wear the uniform jacked up and make the rest of us look bad.

        funny how everybody that isnt in the military and “claims” to be in the military run their mouths when they have no idea.

        to the e-9 stfu, you obviously were a pog and dont understand grunt culture.


        a real Marine 0311

        die in a fire pogs

      • Irish

        Did we forget to take a our anger medication,She is proud,she is a marine,ye are an arsehole,my brother serves in the Royal Marines and he agrees,so wots ye beef,get over it already.

      • Spikeygrrl

        @USMC_0481: How about you make friends with your CAPS LOCK key? I know y’all gyrenes love to yell, but yelling at civilians in civilian forums is regarded by civilians as “conduct unbecoming.”

        Thank you for your service!

        Spikeygrrl (wife of multiply-deployed “Doc”)

    • Ted Lockwood

      Fully agree. When I graduated from College, I wore my uniform under my robe. Not only was I proud, but my father and future wife were also.

    • Charles Hardy Jr

      I agree fully. Wear it under you robe, then, after you receive your diploma, drop the gown.

      • sgt Bernard Hastings

        MARINE Woman maybe you should read your corp rules and regs instead of talking about how great you are. Rules and regs say the uniform is to be wron under the cap and gown…you make me sick woman marine……

      • Woman Marine

        There is no REAL reason not to receive your diploma wearing the the uniform of the USMA.
        Woman Marines; Fewer; Prouder

      • Irish

        I concur with ye completely,that will show them,tis unpatriotic on their part.

      • Donnie- Nam Vet, U.S. Army 69-70

        I believe a compromise can be reached in this situation. Let her receive her diploma in the uniform of the day, (cap and gown) Then change into her “Dress Blues.” At the end of the ceremony have her come up on to
        the stage while the senior class sings the Marine Corps Hymm. What a tribute to a very proud and dedicated young woman this would be.

        Semper Fi, Lindsay

    • Clay

      That’s a desicration of the uniform. Unacceptable,

    • jet

      I disagree with hiding the uniform under the cap/gown. Stand tall Marine and “stormin’ norman” you way in full dress with your head held high! I served in the Navy and the Marines I did PT with wouldn’t stand for this! It’s honor and pride and the heck with the decision makers who cannot offer her the most simple and basic gratitude. She’s 17 – obviously intelligent to finish early. She’s aggressive to drive to complete boot camp. I can see a bright future for this outstanding young woman – it should not be begun with her hiding her uniform to appease folks who ought to just say thank you and be on their way! Geez, if I was there I’d dust off my old dress blues in support of her. Let not the words of a coward stand in the way of honor and pride!!

      • Kay

        Of course the Marines you did PT with *would* stand for this. Don’t be silly. The order is that she wear the cap and gown…and you think your fellow Marines would disobey that order just because *they* wanted to wear something else? Not hardly.

        She asked. I’m glad she asked. She was told “no”. The obvious solution is to wear her dress blues *under* her cap and gown. Duh.

        She should not just be proud to be a Marine…she should also be proud she’s graduating from her school.

    • Luke

      This comment is for JUSTIN
      She is not trying to Bring attention apon herself, it’s kdka Making a big deal about it. I bet your one of those people that cry when someone else steels the spot light from you, an i’m sorry the world will not bow down to all your shortcomming.

    • LR

      As nice as this sounds, it is against Military Regulations to put/wear anything other than authorized clothing over a Military Uniform. I’m a 16yr Vet and currently Married to a Soldier, and we BOTH agree that she should be allowed to wear her ‘new’ Uniform… some people just don’t understand the Pride that comes from wearing it…. and probably never will, no matter how blue in the face you get trying to explain it!

    • Michael Kendzierski

      Uniform regulations FORBID “mixing the military uniform with civilian attire. She is not allowed by regulation to wear the uniform with the cap and gown. Regulations ALSO stipulate that she wear what everyone else is wearing, a cap and gown.

  • Ron Hampe

    She earned the right – let her wear the uniform and be damn glad that unlike you she has enough pride in herself and her country to go out and earn it!

    • Kay

      No, Proud Marine Mom…the proper word *is* the one Blair used…”uniformity”. It is NOT “conformity”. (Ask your Marine son/daughter…or google it if you don’t believe us.)

      Plus, as Blair also pointed out, there is a difference between “authorized” (meaning allowed) and “prescribed” (meaning that’s what you’ve got to wear.)

      The”Sgt” here, who wants us to believe him when he claims he’s in the military…and his poor spelling, typing, grammar, and punctuation don’t preclude him from being a member of the armed forces…also wants us to believe that being authorized to wear Dress Blues for “Leiberty” means that this young woman’s being allowed by the Marine Corps to wear them somehow demands that the school allow it, too. Not hardly.

      Of course, while on liberty, a Marine can mow the lawn, paint a house, work on a car, or go swimming…and does the Sgt. believe Marines should wear their Dress Blues then, too? Just because the Marine Corps regulations make it okay to do something in general doesn’t mean you actually should do it.

    • dcarey

      As a member of the military she should be well aware that every day a “uniform of the day” is prescribed. The uniform of the day for graduation is a cap and gown.

      • David Israel

        Exactly, the uniform is meant NOT to draw attrention to the individual but to the unit. The unit here is her Senior Class!

      • Blair

        I concur completely with dcarey here. Yes she should be proud of her accomplishments, however, as he mentioned, we do not get to just wear any uniform we want. Though the uniform my be authorized for the occasion, it is not what is prescribed. Sgt… if you are in the military, then you, just like she, should understand one word. Uniformity.

        Do you form up a unit with a random mix match of covered and uncovered, Alphas, Charlies, Deltas and MARPATs? No.. everyone wears the same thing. Regardless.

        btw… 17 year Navy vet and still serving.

      • Sgt.

        Last I checked Dress Blue Bravos is authorized for Lieberty, an for graduation she should be allowed to wear her uniform.
        The School should be Honored in the fact that she is in the military, an that fact that she is graduating early and on the way to very sucessfull career.
        As you can tell i’m in the Military Too!!

      • pete

        Exactly. Of all people, she should know what uniformity means. The school is correct not to make an ex ception, lest the next guy.wanting towear his hippie flower child suit or another their best Jack Daniels tee shirt. And its prefty unbe comming of a Marine to whine like a sissy civilian.

        BTW. Former Marine here.

      • jet

        damn skippy!

      • Proud Marine Mom

        I believe the word Blair meant to use is “conformity.” However, “anonymity” is what a recruit must first learn before earning the title of “Marine.” I’m sure Lindsay Starr understands this. The core values of the United States Marine Corps are “Honor,” “Courage” and “Commitment.” Honor the uniform you deserve to wear by NOT wearing it to your high school graduation. Everyone by now will already know you are a Marine! You don’t have to wear the uniform to prove it. Stay safe. Stay strong. Semper Fidelis

      • Michael Kendzierski

        You’re 100% correct dcarey – ALSO the unform regulations say that she should be “dressed in attire similar to what everyone else is wearing” So basically the USMC says that her “uniform of the day” is the cap and gown.

  • david

    She should be allowed to wear uniform! The people on that school board should be fired for discrimination . Thank God she is serving Our Country and shame on that Administration!

    • Kay

      Honoring students is not at all the same thing as allowing them to wear something not in keeping with school traditions and requirements. There’s nothing two-faced about it. Any more than honoring someone for getting an athletic scholarship should allow them to walk across the stage in their football uniform.

      Indeed, if the winner of the athletic scholarship was turned down for wearing that football uniform rather than this being about a *military* uniform, I wonder just how many of the people posting here would take the same “let the kid do it” position.

    • Peggy

      David, you need to lookup discrimination in the dictionary for the real meaning.

      • Spikeygrrl

        @Peggy: Hear, hear!

        I’ve been dinning at folks for literally more than three decades about that one…but nobody listens.

        Welcome to the REAL-LIFE age of NewSpeak, “the only language the vocabulary of which grows smaller every year.”

    • Amy J.

      How is this discrimination? It would be discrimination against everyone else is she were given her own way. She should grow up and wear the cap/gown or don’t march. As part of the marines she will be expected to do things she doesn’t want to do, what then? Will she wine and pout to get her own way?I think she is an attention hound and selfish. She just wants to stand out and that’s not fair to all the other young people who worked hard to be there and graduate.

      • Vanessa Scalia

        Hey Amy the word is whine, not wine. One you drink the other you do.

    • WHY

      NA should not be allowed to honor those students who are entering the military academies during graduation if they don’t let this young woman wear her uniform. They are all two-faced.

  • PBK

    Funny that at the Colleges the military grads are honored and given standing ovations. Yet, the small minded Admins can’t see beyond a “rule” for a damn good reason. This is real life, no one cares about the damn cap and gown or the colors.

    • Kay

      Sorry, but you’re wrong. When was the last graduation you actually went to? I just went to 3 of them (3 of my grandkids) and you don’t describe any of them.

      Oh…and the article said TWICE that this was a HIGH SCHOOL graduation. What’s with so many of you guys arguing about “colleges”??? Yeesh.

    • yeahisaidit

      I just graduated from college, and there were many people who were active duty in the military who flew in to participate, there were personnel from Japan, Germany, and in fact, there was a woman who just completed tour of duty in Afghanistan 2 weeks prior to graduating. All graduates wore cap and gown!

  • ObamaHater

    she needs to realize that she HAS to follow the rules. if no one followed rules that were set, then we should act more like the entire muslim nations

    • Vanessa Scalia

      Whole Muslim nations? Wow. That is a lot. Oh by the way your comment was just stupid.

    • Chunk Norris

      i agree about the rules and Being a marine she should fully understand this and be willing to be tough and comply. the fact is that she is a very young marine. this will be one of many lessons.(no comment on the muslim reference)

      • Justin

        This comment is for Luke – the only thing she is trying to honor is herself. She’s not honoring the USMC or the United States by wearing her uniform at her graduation, and she CERTAINLY isn’t honoring the USMC, the military or anyone by running to the media crying about it.

        She’s just wanting the attention.

      • LUKE

        She is going to follow the rules, its the fact that she wants to wear her uniform an honor her country by wearing it.
        The school should be honored by letting her wear it .

      • LUKE

        She is going to follow the rules, its the fact that she wants to wear her uniform an honor her country

    • Semper Fi

      You are an idiot and a moron. This young lady is serving our country so ignorant dopes like you can say the stupid things you just said.
      I wouldn’t be suprised if you a board member in disguise.

      Thank you Lindsay for you courage and service.

  • Trish

    Granted I respect her for serving our country and admire her decision to join the Marine’s…but that doesn’t give her any right to special treatment if it goes against a requirement or a rule at her high school. If they haven’t made exceptions for the other graduates who wanted to wear something other than the cap and gown, there is no reason that they should make an exception for her. Her status as a Marine doesn’t grant her special treatment at her high school graduation ceremony.

    I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. Just wear the uniform under the cap and gown. Why does the news have to get involved?

    • Vanessa Scalia

      Well you took time to get involved in this. I don’t think you should complain about the news. You didn’t have to read and comment, but you did. So I’m thinking it was a big deal to you.

    • dhisrael

      I commend the school for sticking to their tradition. Today, everyone wants to be different. Everyone want some special dispensation of the rules in their favor. That is not what graduation is about. At my high school, a military school, we were required to wear black pants, socks shoes and tie with a white, starched shirt under our cap and gowns. We were to all look the same in our academic regalia. Even the faculty and board of education conformed. If you were to miss any of that attire; you did not walk or participate. There were no “if’s and’s or butts.” That was part of our military heritage: to follow directions and remain in decorum. Likewise we had military review where we were all in uniform. To participate in drill you had to conform. It is good training as the world is exactly that way. If you can’t dress the job you won’t get the job. As a person that has hired CEO’s and COO’s as well as over six hundred employees, I always counted grooming and dress in my evaluation of the person for the job. Dress like a manager and you might get the job of a manager. Dress like a custodian and you will get that job along the lines of a custodian. Apply for a job as a custodian but respect yourself by dressing in a suit and tie and you might become more that a laborer. It is all in what you want out of life. Graduation is not a parade of occupational dress-up; it is a solemn occasion honoring the achievements of the class in toto and is denigrated by deviations from the fringe.

  • Karl Vaughn Hillwig

    As an Active Duty Air Force member I don’t think she should be allowed to wear that uniform for graduation.
    Granted and military branch encourages the wear of the Service Dress uniform when appropriate, with the exception of the Army during war time/conflicts, she is part of an delayed enlistment program. Yes, she graduated from Basic Training, but she has yet to graduate from her actual school. She is not currently, or should not be, getting paid to be in the Marines at this current moment. She was paid during basic and was put on hold since then.
    I respect her for joining the Marines and wanting to serve her country, but she has still not earned the right to wear it around freely when she wants. Once she graduates her school where she will learn her actual job in the Marines, then I would say she should be free to do so.

    • luke

      Actually once you graduate bootcamp you are a marine. If for some reason she doesn’t pass school, they find a new job field. so she is a marine.

    • Marine0351

      I am a Marine, and I can tell you that the moment you finish graduation ceremonies at either San Diego or Parris Island, you are a Marine. Read the story again, your facts are a little off. The DEP is BEFORE you go to bootcamp, not after. She HAS earned the right to wear that uniform. You obviously dont know how the Marine Corps works, so untill you find out, dont post false statements.

      • Nick

        I highly question your understanding of how the military works. She earned the right to wear the uniform but there is a time and place for everything. Try showing up to PT in dress blues and when questioned, tell them “I earned the right” Let us know how that works out for you.

    • MARINE

      Apparently the Air Force does things differently then the Marine Corps. As a fellow Marine that knows her personally I can tell you with all certianty that she is not part of the Delayed Entry Program, she is an Active Duty Marine, after graduating from Marine Corps Bootcamp you EARN the title MARINE, and with that title she earns the right to wear her uniform WHENEVER she wants! And yes she is currently being paid and will continue to get paid for her service to her country. I appreciate that fact that you respect her for joining but get your facts straight before you start talking about the rules and regulations for the Marine Corps

      • Navy Veteran

        As a verteran I commend her for joining the military and wanting to serve this great nation. However, If she is infact a Marine, then in boot camp she was taught that there are rules to follow. She may not always like the rules, but she must follow them. The rules for her high school graduation state that a cap and gown should be worn. Being in the armed forces does not entitle her to wear the uniform WHENEVER she wants. This event is not a sanctioned military event and does not require dress uniform. Dress as required for graduation and then change into the dress blues aftwards.

      • Joe

        whooa slow down there slick, no she cannot wear her uniform whenever she wants. where are you getting your information from? if shes at home yes she can wear what ever she wants, but the moment she steps out in public, she needs to make sure that her command has authorized her to wear said uniform. Marines follow rules and regulations. Marine Corps Regulation forbid anything to go on top of the dress blues. ie her gown for graduation. And the rules of the school is to wear a cap and gown for graduation. so shes in a catch 22 situation. which will she follow?

      • Wade

        This country is led by Civilians. Not the Military. The Commander In Chief is a Civilian. Therefore, this ceremony IS a civilian event and SHE should follow the rules of the civilian school. That IS what military is ALL about is obeying your superiors. She is wrong and Marty is being sillly.

    • 5811 MP

      WRONG!!! Once she or anyone else graduates boot camp, they are MARINES!! Her MOS will be her job title, but the main “job” so to speak of any Marine is infantry. Maybe thats how they do it in the Air Force, but not in the Marines. Its amazing they want to give her a hard time about the uniform. Have you seen some of the outfits these kids are wearing in this day and age?? God bless her, be safe, and as always SEMPER FI!!!

    • D

      Nice words maybe technically she she shouldn’t wear it, but i think for the most part we are letting our soldiers down by not recognizing their efforts, and sacrafice. Let the woman wear the uniform. She’s a marine now anyway. The job comment is not strong enough sorry. It sounded deep, and knowledgable for a minute, but I had to weed out the fluff.

      • Kay

        We recognize our troops efforts and sacrifice all the time. But that doesn’t mean that she gets to wear her Dress Blues whenever and wherever she wants.

        She asked. She was turned down. It should have ended there.

        But making a media fuss about not being able to wear what she wants when she wants is *not* appropriate and does *not* speak well of her. On the other hand, she *is* only 17, so I’ll cut her some slack. But I wouldn’t be surprised but what she gets a good talking to by a superior.

  • Had Enough in NA

    Also, North Allegheny requires each senior to purchase a cap and gown. Having two sons who graduated just a year apart who are the same size I asked if my younger son could wear the older son’s cap and gown and just purchase the tassel. No way. I am sure that NA gets a kickback from whoever they buy their stuff from. Not like they get enough tax money from their residents. This is one of the reason that it is good that the current superintendent’s reign of terror is coming to an end. I would wear it under my cap and gown and after getting the diploma…I would take off the cap and gown and leave it in a heap on the stage and march off proudly in my Marine uniform.

    • Pico

      Typical NA style. Graduated from there in the 90s and glad I moved away and don’t pay taxes to NA. I’ve seen other school districts first hand, and although NA adimn and teachers act like some pompous, holier than though school, this shows it isn’t anything special. Other school districts have to worry about kids getting shot, stabbed, or even graduating; NA worries about the school image and making sure everyone conforms to wear the black (guys) and gold (girls). I’ll bet the admin would die if a guy wanted to wear gold and a girl wanted to wear black. I love their reasoning: “we just don’t do it”. I could see if everyone wanted to wear their Burger King or McDonald’s uniform or some other crazy outfit or funky colored wig, but it’s some young child who is willing to make a sacrifice to put her life on the line to join the military so we can live the lifestyles we do and so these fat admin types can make boat loads of cash off the backs of taxpayers (the new NA superintendent makes $190k/year). Maybe they should open their eyes, change their stupid policy, and make a damn exception for these soldiers.

      • Kay

        Wow. Other schools have to worry about their kids getting shot, stabbed or even graduation…and NA doesn’t. They have a 99% graduation rate. And you think that makes North Allegheny BAD???? Because they have a uniform dress code? Jeez Louise.

        By the way, this young woman is NOT a “young child”. She’ll be an adult in a couple of months, so let’s not get silly here.

  • Semper Fi

    A Marine is a marine the day the gradate boot camp. For anyone to say anthing different they must not be a Marine. Myself being a retired Marine thank this young lady for her service to our country but you must follow the rules, A Marine is trained to over come and adapt where it under your the gown then take it off. We are proud of you in whatever uniform you are wearing. God Bless Marine

    • Dan

      Amen…. They don’t teach or encourage individuality, The Marine Corps instills Dedication and Good Order and Disipline. Marines follow orders, and if they encounter adversity, they adapt. Wear the uniform proudly under the gown, and then display it with pride that you deserve after the school has it’s ceremony.

  • jim

    Once a Marine always a Marine the only Branch of Service that makes that proud statement. The school the young Marine went to probably is a good school. But it is ran by IDIOTS. Do they have any clue as to what this Marine went thru to wear that BEAUTIFUL UNIFORM probably not. But I bet they all sure are glad we have NO WARS here.

    This Marine is Proud of Her Country and Herself so let her walk the Marine walk.
    When she gets her Diploma tear away the Cap and Gown and stand there and let the Faculity see you did it YOUR WAY! And from a OL VET to a Young Marine
    thanks for being there and doing what you do. God Bless You MARINE

  • Freddy

    Sometimes rules are just wrong. What type of example are we providing to the youth ? It’s not like were in the middle of 2 wars or anything regardless of your politics she should be supported. How much more of an issue is it now instead of just saying yes ? Notice they dont even given a reason just a ” we don’t do it ” . If this was the 60’s when things got protested they would change there tune.

    • Kay

      Instead of attacking a school for having an enforced uniform dress code, you might want to look into how they compare with other schools in the area that don’t. (This particular high school school has a 99% graduation rate…does *your* local high school???)

      You also might want to do a little investigating into the impact and value of having enforced uniform dress codes. There is a demonstrably positive impact even something as simply as a dress code can have on troubled or low-performing schools. So let’s not kneejerk here, OK? 99% graduation rates are *not* the norm in this country.

  • Clay Wilcher

    The Admins are idiots. They are supposed to be educators, try to act like one. Show some respect. These young men and women have earned the right to wear the uniform of the United States, and I mean earned, it is not handed to you. They have more pride, guts and loyalty thans those pea brains will ever have. They have done something those idiots can’t, earned a place in the United States Military. The Admins owe her, you and I owe her. Have you ever served in the military? I say fire the Admins.

  • Mayor of GBD

    And what about volunteer fireman? would they be offered the same respect? Hmmmm. Wear what you want under it, but it’s ALL caps and gowns.

    • Semper Fi

      Another idiot out of the wood work.

      • HS not Marine grad

        Semper Fi, if you were a marine thanks for your service to our country. She will have (or has had) the opportunity to wear her dress blues in a military graduation setting. This is a high school graduation ceremony, lets respect all the students of NA who worked hard for this accomplishment.

  • lumbergh

    At Sto-Rox H.S.’s graduation all the youngsters should prepare for their future by wearing county jail uniforms.

  • dean

    This is outrageous, this shouldent even be a question. she is doing more than those slow minded admins ever will and the are too thick headed to see past one rule. Na can suck it

  • Floyd Hoss


  • Sgt.Carter

    If she graduated from culinary school or welding school should she have the right to wear a chefs outfit or a welding helmet? The Marines teach honor and respect for your superiors…….follow orders Marine!

    • Chunk Norris

      Could you Please REPEAT that last part for all to hear!
      This is the best and only comment this issue really needs.
      Follow Orders Marine.

    • WOW

      I think it is admirable what she has done, however, I thought one of the things you learn in the military is how to follow orders (rules). If that is the school policy…respect that. If it is ok to wear the uniform whenever you want while you are off duty (?), wear it under the gown and take it off after the ceremony. If you are proud of your uniform, then you will still be proud without everyone seeing it. You are supposed to BE a Marine to the bone. Is it it really necessary to buck the system so everyone sees your uniform?

      • thanks for serving

        Jamie and Don you need to first unbunch your shorts and see the sarcasm in my modeling school comment! If your read the whole post would have seen that I was indeed taught to respect the military, my own Father was Army. The point isn’t whether she is proud or whether the school is proud of it’s students who go into the military. The point is it is a HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. There are other worthy individuals that put their lives on the line, high school students who volunteer as fireman and run into burning buildings while others are running out…they don’t get to wear the uniforms. High school students who volunteer in EMS who walk away from the dinner table, get up in the middle of the night to answer calls to help others in need. (BTW many people in fire and EMS are killed each year. There are rules. Sgt.Carter stated what if she had graduated from chef school or welding school and I played off of that, simply put. I absolutely respect our military, Don I will pray for you children and Jamie your brother as I pray for my own family actively serving. As for what Iose sleep over, I lose sleep worrying about the world my two children are inhering, that I raise them to be respectful responsible members of society, that they’ll live long and happy lives. In in that worrying, I teach them to be respectful and follow the rules. NA’s graduation is about the class of 2011 not one girl’s military service.

    • Bob

      I agree, just because it is a military uniform it is no different than medical scrubs, police uniform, etc., the school has rules, as a former teacher I was there to teach society has rules unlike parents of today who don’t think rules apply to there little darlings.

      • kym

        No where in the article does it say she will not follow orders. She will wear the Cap and Gown (and hopefully her Marine uniform underneath). My take on the article is that she has asked to where the uniform and doesn’t understand why she can’t (I don’t either). How can you compare learning a trade ( welding and cooking ) to being a marine? You can’t!!!

      • Lisa

        @Don, what branch of the service did you work in? Why worry so much, your kids are just doing THEIR JOB that they CHOSE and get PAID to do, with medical benefits and continued lifetime medical benefits paid for by us, the taxpayer. It’s no different than any other dangerous job. Seriosly millitary people need to get off their high horse, they are no better or different than any other working American.

      • Lisa

        I agree, suppose all the parents showed up in their work uniforms,medical scrubs, ect, instead of dressing up for the occasion. She just wants to stand out, well good luck to her, she chose her path and her job that she gets paid to do by the federal government, she is not entitiled to any special treatment from her high school. Enjoy graduation and wear the cap and gown you earned it.

      • Charlie

        You see a difference between a military uniform and other “uniforms”. (I happen to agree with you.) But I can guarantee that sooner or later someone will want to wear their (non-military) “uniform” to graduation and as fast as you can spell lawsuit, they will point to the precedent set when the Marine was allowed to wear her uniform to graduation and point out that their “uniform” is just as important to them as this girl’s dress blues are to her. And unfortunately, I would expect the courts to uphold the suit. You really don’t want this camel’s nose under this tent.
        We are proud of you, Marine. And that won’t change regardless of what you wear to graduation.

      • Jamie

        Don, I agree!!!!! “Thanks for serving” is an IDOT!!!!! Some people have no worth of value or pride. Id wear my Dress Blues under my gown and when I was on stage seated wth everyone, Id take the gown off and leave my dress blues on. I have never heard of such a rule wear a person ion the armed services is not allowed to wear ther uniform. I know my school would be proud that we had someone serving in the UNITED STATES MILITARY! My brother is in teh United STates Marines and has been to Afighanistan, my school shows their respect for him and the others serving in the Military by having a glass case set up with pictures of all of the gradutates who serve in the military and pictures etc. I am appalled at the idiots on here and disgusted in NA!!!!!

      • Don

        @ Thanks for serving….Are you seriouly comparing a bikini to a military uniform??? Modeling school to the marines? Really??? Are you serious??? My son and daughter are both serving in the military, my son is overseas but he can’t tell us exactly where, and my daughter is somewhere off the coast of Africa. I lose sleep at night wondering if my children will come home safely. What do you lose sleep over? What color lipstick to wear to the photoshoot? Get real!!!!

      • Thanks for serving

        Agree!! I graduated from modeling school, can I wear my bikini to my graduation? My parents taught me to respect many things, two of those things…the rules and our military. Sorry, wear the cap and gown, commencement is about the completion of high school, an accomplishment to be proud of! Once you grant a request like this then you have people wanting to wear all sorts of other things. Precedence is a long known legal battle, you let her wear her uniform, why can’t my son wear his chefs uniform or my daughter her bikini, it would be discriminatory. Thank you for serving our country so I can sleep in a free country but for commencement be a high school grad, that’s what the night is about!

      • Proud Marine Mom

        Lisa: I feel very sorry for you, but I hope you sleep well tonight in your warm, safe bed. Voluntarily enlisting during time of war takes tremendous courage. It’s NOT just another dangerous job. When that recruit takes the oath, he or she knows that it’s not a matter of IF deployment is in the future, but a matter of WHEN. I thank God every day we have such brave souls in our midst. Yes, these courageous volunteers CHOOSE their path, CHOOSE a dangerous job, NOT because they get paid (trust me, the pay is lousy), NOT because they expect special treatment (trust me, they don’t receive much recognition — but sometimes disrespect — especially when getting shot at, or blown up, or giving the last full measure of devotion), and NOT so they can ride on a “high horse” (trust me, gunner position atop a humvee isn’t very glorious) — but they do it because they put Country first. And I believe that makes them DIFFERENT FROM (and perhaps even BETTER THAN ) other working Americans! Semper Fidelis

  • Brother Rhaan Wilkes

    It would be perceived also as a recruitment gesture also, wearing that uniform, which is not permitted; especially at such a widely attended forum.

  • Proud Army Mom

    There is no reason why she should not be permitted to wear her dress blues regardless of what the school said. Your graduation cap and gown cover what you are wearing, so what’s the difference. At my son’s graduation last year, they had all those who had enlisted stand up to be recognized for what they were about to embark on and to show their support. They also recognized all those currently serving that were in attendance and those who served before them. It’s an honor to show your respect to those who are about to put their lives on the line for our freedom. She should most definitely be permitted to wear her uniform; she is proud of what she is doing with her life (serving our country) and I’m proud of her for making that decision and I don’t even know her.

    • Really???

      Proud Army Mom, may God keep your child safe as he serves to protect our freedom. I think the debate though is that she doesn’t want to wear the cap and gown over her uniform, she wants to wear it alone. So looking down at the sea of black and gold you would see her dress blues. Any young person who serves should be admired but for one night wear the cap and gown over the dress blues, let this be about high school. She has her entire life to wear her uniform with pride, she only has one night to be a high school grad.

  • Mt. Washington Mouse

    You go Marine. Do what your heart tells you to do. Go to the Graduation and sit with your parents in uniform and be proud. You EARNED this right. Those people who make these rules will never understand what you accomplished. After the ceremony walk up and get your diploma or tell them to send it to you. I worked with your Force Recon being a 20 year Navy Vet who worked small boats and I must say they are the most professional people I have ever met. GOOD LUCK MARINE.

    • Justin

      “Do what your heart tells you to do”

      If you served 20 years in the Navy, hopefully you see the irony of your statement.

  • John D.

    What you see here is the unfortunate result of the end of the draft and administrators who sought college to avoid Vietnam. They likely will never understand Duty, Honor, Country, and conveniently cling to “da rules”. Trying to square those administrators against a Patriot who willingly and without duress enlisted in the Corps is an impossible task.

    I would never suggest that this Marine sully the uniform by defiantly walking for her diploma in the face of “da rules”, but perhaps the parents of the students of NA might wish to consider asking the administrators to simply mail diplomas to the students’ homes. What if they gave a graduation and nobody came?

  • Ensign Parker

    Pitt graduated many Marines Navy Army and Air Force officers in May! They all wore cap and gowns and will go on to lead airmen, sailors soldiers and Marines in the years ahead. Go scrub the latrine at Camp Lejeune…Marine!

    • luke

      Yah because they HAVEN”T gone to OCS yet, just because mommy and daddy paid most of their way through college doesn’t give them the right to wear a uniform they haven’t earned.

      • Dave

        ROTC students don’t go through OCS. When they graduate they are commissioned officers

    • Semper Fi

      I’m sure you weren’t one of the graduates at Pitt, I would have to say probably a disgruntled janitor some where who is a wanna be.
      Tough person behind the words.
      Probably still live at home with your mommy in the basement, and gets breast fed by your mommy.

      Thank you Lindsay, if you should read any of these negative posts, adapt and ignore.

  • Mike

    What a shame this is happening. There is a legitimate argument to be made that NA is violating this young woman’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech, which protects expressive conduct (like wearing certain clothing), as well as actual words. If I were here, I would consider consulting with an attorney.

    • Peggy

      Mike it’s “no” not “know” and it’s NOT a freedom of speech issue.

      • Facts please

        @Mike please clarify, in your first post you said it violated her First Amendment rights, specifically that “protects expressive conduct (like wearing certain clothing)” Your rebuttal to the challenge of exactly how her First Amendment rights are being denied simply says “it may provide protection as to the conduct this young women in question wishes to engage.” And what exactly is the remedy to law provides to you wish to avail her to?
        No violation here. She is permitted to participate in the commencement as is every other grad. She asked for special treatment (ie wearing something special) and was denied. Period!

    • Really???

      Lawyer up Mike the great American way! I want to wear my bikini or better yet nothing at all… We have rules in society, follow them, simple. Or do think the furries listed below should be allowed to wear their animal costumes as well, isn’t that their right? People really abuse that First Amendment! The intent was so we could not be beheaded for speaking against the Crown, not so we could wear whatever we wanted to a high school grad ceremony!

      • Devil Dog and Ranger

        Mike-You obviously don’t know anything about the 1st Amendment. Go to law school and read up on cases and do case briefs.

      • Mike

        The gross level of ignorance demonstrated in your reply indicates that you have little to know understanding of the legal issues to which I was referring. In any event, no reasonable person would attempt to claim that the First Amendment provides a license to say or do whatever one might like. However, it may provide protection as to the conduct this young women in question wishes to engage. Thus, it might be prudent for her to seek professional legal advice. Society does, indeed, have rules. But when government infringes upon an individual’s right, the law provides a remedy. And there is nothing wrong with availing oneself of that remedy.

  • The Furries

    We demand that all graduates be allowed to wear animal costumes of their choice!

    • Chunk Norris

      Can all those who also attend Clown College hang with the Furries during graduation,they seem to have no place to else to fit in. thanx a lot.

  • Really???

    Seriously, your going to pull the race card on this??? I hope the sun rises tomorrow or we can say it didn’t because it didn’t want to shine on the colored people. Give me a large break here. NA has had requests to wear military uniforms in the past from both caucasian and Asian students and they were denied. If they had allowed her to wear hers then it would have been racist. Come on we all bleed red no matter what the outer wrapping is! Lets have a legit discussion without crying racist here.

    • really???

      I had responded to a comment about racism, looks like it has been pulled. Sorry my comment doesn’t make sense without the original

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