Graduation Mistake

Skye Todd and

Last Wednesday at the North High graduation ceremony  a mistake was made on behalf of the North administration staff. Two senior students, Emilian Carrion and Carlo Hernandez, were both not allowed to wear their caps due to the caps being adorned with beadwork along with eagle feathers, which are sacred to the Native American culture.

In 2018, House Bill 2498 was signed into law which allowed Native Americans to wear tribal regalia or objects of cultural significance at public events along with graduation ceremonies. Wichita Public Schools does have guidelines for commencement ceremonies which do not allow students to decorate their mortarboards. That is where the misinterpretation took place. North administration was going along with the Wichita Public School guidelines.

Wichita Public Schools acknowledged that mistake that was made and released this statement: “A judgement was made based on an interpretation of the statute at one commencement ceremony earlier this week. We acknowledge that the interpretation was not correct. We are reaching out to those impacted to repair the harm caused. We have taken several actions that will become part of our annual review process as we prepare for graduation festivities. This is a learning moment for our district and our staff, and we must and will do better.”