Marine Brandon Garabrant can’t openly wear his service uniform to his high school graduation from ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire. That’s now the official word in an email that the 18-year-old and his mom Jessie Garabrant received from the high school principal Brian Pickering.
Brandon Garabrant is a particularly high-achieving teen-ager who graduated earlier from his high school course work, allowing him to move forward with boot camp. The busy Marine actually graduated from boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina on Friday.
Naturally, he’s excited, and he planned to fly home and wear his new uniform to his high school graduation the next day as well.
“Brandon earned this right and he went above and beyond what he needed to do in high school,” Jessie Garabrant said.
The principal didn’t make his controversial ruling against Brandon Garabrant alone. “I felt it was critical to have the perspective of the military with this decision,” Pickering acknowledged.
According to a My Fox Boston report, the graduation committee he consulted included a retired Army Special Forces member and a retired Marine.
In a decision that has divided a town, they agreed that everyone at the high school graduation should wear the same cap and gown uniform. However, Brandon Garabrant is welcome to wear his Marine uniform underneath and to reveal it once he has his diploma.
The problem? “I think covering up with a cap and gown is disgraceful to the uniform,” his mom said.
But one committee member, Sherry Nixon, is also a military mom and she simply doesn’t agree. “He can celebrate [being a Marine]…next,” she said. “This is a celebration of the Class of 2013 and should be honored first.”
What do you think? Should new Marine Brandon Garabrant be allowed to openly wear his uniform during high school graduation?
[graduation photo by Michael Ciranni via Shutterstock]