June 4, 2013

Native American Student Denied Diploma & Fined for Paying Homage to Her Heritage.

“Just about a month from now I’m set adrift, with a diploma for a sail and lots of nerve for oars.” ― Richard Halliburton

For many students, this week marks the culmination of many years of hard work and self-discipline. All across the nation, students everywhere are donning their cap and gown and metaphorically crossing that bridge into adulthood.

I myself watched with big soppy tears  as my own son proudly walked across that parade field.

This should be a time of great celebration, of recognizing a significant achievement—instead, it’s become so terribly politicized.

When Chelsey Ramer, of the Poarch Creed Band of Indians, wore a symbol of her spiritual heritage she knew there might be some backlash. You see, some weeks prior the school administration had sent out a memo forbidding any deviations from the graduation ‘uniform.’

They even included a contract for all students to sign, indicating that a violation would prohibit their graduation.

However, Chelsey, who is so very proud of her tribal traditions—decided to break rank, and pay her respects anyway.

But, that eagle feather clipped tastefully to her cap cost this family $1,000.

When interviewed, Chelsey had this to say,

“It was worth every penny of the thousand dollars. This is what I’ve been waiting on, and I feel like I have a right to wear it.”

Bravo, Chelsey and Happy Graduation—and keep standing up for those little things that make your heart smile big.

Video: Chelsey Ramer Defends Her Views.


Like elephant journal on Facebook.

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Tara Lemieux  |  Contribution: 19,505