NH High School Says Teen Cannot Wear Marine Uniform To Graduation

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. (CBS) — Like most 18-year-old students, Brandon Garabrant is about to graduate from high school.

Unlike most, he has also taken his first steps to becoming a Marine.

Brandon Garabrant (Credit: courtesy)

Brandon Garabrant (Credit: courtesy)

He completed enough high school credits in January to allow him to leave school.

“Words can’t even express it, this is such an amazing accomplishment,” said Brandon’s mother Jessie.

Brandon’s family is in South Carolina ready to watch him graduate from boot camp on Friday.

Then they will fly back to New Hampshire for his graduation from ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough on Saturday.

Brandon would like to wear his Marine uniform rather than cap and gown but the school will not allow it.

“I think that is just a disgrace, very disrespectful,” said Jessie Garabrant. “It’s important to acknowledge these children that make these decisions.”

School officials say they have spoken with the student council, as well as with faculty members with military experience or who have family in the military. (Continued…)

The consensus is that all students should dress alike, and no one should be singled out.

“I think this is a celebration of a class much like a celebration of a team, a group that’s been together,” said Principal Brian Pickering.

Several school officials, including a member of the graduation committee, met with WBZ-TV today.

They say they are thrilled with Brandon’s accomplishment but say graduation is about unity.

There is also concern that if an exception is made, it will open up the door to other requests down the road.

“You begin to wonder where to draw the line,” said Pickering.

Brandon’s family had hoped the uniform could inspire younger students.

It will be up to Brandon to decide what to do: either walk with his class in cap and gown or sit and watch the ceremony.

“I do know he will be at graduation,” said his mother.

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