Marine's dress blues won't do at ConVal graduation
Brandon Garabrant, 18, who is graduating from Marine boot camp Friday, wants to wear his Marine uniform and not a cap and gown to his ConVal High School graduation in Peterborough on Saturday. (COURTESY)
Brandon Garabrant, 18, of Greenfield is graduating from Marine boot camp Friday in South Carolina, and will be home in time for his ConVal High School graduation Saturday. His mother, Jessie Garabrant, said his request to wear his uniform instead of a cap and gown was refused by school officials, who cited graduation policy. A cap and gown will have to cover his uniform.
"With all due respect to the military, it's not a celebration of what's next, what's after that," Pickering said. "This has been a procedure for a number of years at ConVal High School," he said.
"We actively support students who wear uniforms to school," he said.
Jessie Garabrant said because her son is in boot camp, he doesn't even know about the media attention that has resulted from his request to wear his Marine dress blues.
Because Garabrant had the credits to graduate a semester early, he was able to leave in March for his 13-week Marine boot camp training.
"Personally, I feel like this accomplishment that he's made during his high school career — I think it should be acknowledged at the high school graduation," Jessie Garabrant said.
Wednesday, members of the graduation committee came out in support of the decision, including staff members who have family in active duty, Pickering said. They include Sherry Nixon, who has two sons serving in Afghanistan, and Deb Coin, whose husband is on active duty.
Jessie Garabrant said she has also received support from those upset by the decision.
Garabrant said Marines are expected to wear their dress blues to ceremonies they attend, so she is not sure what Brandon will do.
"He's in between a rock and a hard place," she said.
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