Lately in the news, there have been a couple stories of high school students that did not want to follow the dress code set by their school for graduation. As a result, they were unable to participate in graduation.
The first student was a female that had graduated early and joined the Marines. When she returned from graduation, she wore her uniform instead of her cap and gown. She refused to wear the cap and gown so she just did not get to participate. The girl belonged to the Marines. She should know that following directions is important. She should have also learned the importance of a dress code while she was gone. If she is unable to follow directions, she will probably not last very long in the Marines.
I am glad the school did not let her participate. Graduation is not a military event. The military has several other days and events in which to receive honor. Graduation is supposed to be about the class as a whole, not one individual. It really would not be fair to draw attention to this one student because other students will go on to do great things in their lives. However, they did not graduate early and have yet to accomplish anything past high school. Their turn is coming though.
The second student wore some kind of garment worn at important events in Ghana and was actually arrested because of the event. The student claimed though that he had no connection to his African ancestors. Because of that, I do not believe the cloth held any sort of significance for the student. The male was later arrested but since I was not there, I do not know if his actions at the ceremony were worthy of being arrested. He could have been very difficult about the situation.
If the student was wearing the cloth for religious reasons, it would make sense to wear it. But since he said he had no connections to his ancestors, it meant nothing to him other than a way to make him stand out from the rest of his graduating class. Again, graduation is about the class as a whole. The cap and gown worn by all students is a sign of unity.
High school graduation should be a time to celebrate the accomplishment of finishing high school and enjoying one final moment with the class you have been with for the last thirteen years. It will be the last time the whole class will be together. However, the unity is lost when one student feels the need to stand out and be difficult.