Note : Many schools in india run by Christians also have similar polices where Hindu students and staff are not allowed to wear Hindu religious pendants or even have a tilak on or celebrate Hindu festivals . They are not even allowed to do Hindu prayers while forced to sing christian hymns or they could end up being expelled or punished for doing so.
A NATIVE American student has been denied her high school diploma for wearing a tribal feather on her graduation cap at the Escambia Academy High School in Atmore, Alabama.
The 17-year-old has been asked to pay a $1,000 fine for defying the school’s “no extraneous items” policy by wearing an eagle feather to celebrate her heritage as a member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
“About two months ago, me and the other Indian seniors from the graduating class asked our headmaster if we could wear the feathers on our caps,” Chelsey Ramer told Indian Country Today Media Network.Not only did their headmaster say no, he also threatened to pull them off the field if they wore them and sent out a contract requiring graduating seniors to accept that wearing “extraneous items during graduation exercises” is prohibited and will attract penalties.
“I don’t think it’s fair at all,” the teen said. “I feel like it’s discrimination.”
Ramer wore the feather in her motarboard, and says there were no major dramas during the graduation ceremony itself, though she says administrators were upset. After the event the school issued her with a $1,000 fine and informed her that her diploma would be withheld until it was paid.
One other Native senior wore a feather on a necklace and did not face any disciplinary action, while the other two did not wear a feather at all, for fear of facing fines. Ramer has still not received her diploma.
She has spoken with the acting Headmaster, Coach Walker, to find out if the school has changed its mind. “He said if it was up to him, he would give me my diploma … but he had to go through the board to get it approved.”
Parents and tribal council members have requested to speak with the school board to discuss the incident but their efforts have been denied.
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