Teri Wilson
May 23, 2016 12:52 pm
Facebook

Megan Howerton graduated from high school last week, but she wasn’t allowed to walk in her graduation ceremony. Nor was her name recognized during the event. Why? Because she chose to wear her military uniform rather than her cap and gown.

Howerton is a U.S. Marine, and when she showed up on graduation day in her uniform, McHenry High School West Campus school officials wouldn’t allow her participate in the ceremony. Megan sat in the audience instead.

Many of Howerton’s classmates were upset by the decision (because of course they were!) and took to social media to point out how unfair it is to exclude a student who “graduated early, went to boot camp, and came back to graduate with her class.” And yeah, we can totally see where the outrage is coming from.

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The #LetMeganWalk hashtag quickly picked up steam.

After the ceremony McHenry High School West Campus issued a statement on Facebook which said school officials had simply upheld the rules regarding graduation dress code. The statement says (in part), “The attention related to last night’s graduation ceremony at McHenry High School West Campus is unfortunate and draws attention away from the collective achievements of the Class of 2016. The district and administration in no way looked to prevent the participation of this graduate or any graduate who has chosen to serve our nation…There was no communication to the administration that attire protocols would not be followed prior to the ceremony. The tradition of cap and gown regalia is aimed at the idea that our graduates are celebrated as a whole and in similar attire.”

Megan’s classmates weren’t about to let the situation go without their fellow graduate being recognized. During the ceremony, they went and got her out of the audience and escorted her to the front to sit with her class.

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The day after graduation, some of the students returned to school to hold a protest against the administration’s decision.

We’re thinking the administration didn’t have much of a reason to be worried about celebrating the class as a whole. It sounds like the class of 2016 is pretty unified.

Congrats to all the graduates! And props to Megan for being such a great example to her fellow classmates. Whether it’s officially recognized or not, we see you Megan. We see you.

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