ELK GROVE, Calif. – May 27, 2016 – During a high school graduation ceremony held at the Sleep Train Arena located in Sacramento, CA on May 24, 2016, a Cosumnes Oaks High School (COHS) student was prohibited from participating in the remainder of the school’s graduation ceremony for refusing to follow direction of school officials who were attempting to uphold the established dress code and for ignoring repeated requests to remove unauthorized non-school award regalia.
Generally speaking, it is within the District’s discretion and prerogative to impose rules for graduation ceremony dress code and attire which apply generally to all students, and which do not discriminate against any specific student viewpoint. That rule and standard has been in place for decades in EGUSD, and was in place for COHS’s graduation ceremony, just like for other District high school commencement ceremonies. All students and families were made aware of these rules before the COHS ceremony. The District regrets how events unfolded in this instance; however there was no intent to discriminate against the student, as the same rules apply to every graduate.
The student was allowed to walk across the stage to be recognized and took a formal picture with the principal wearing the Kente cloth. Later, the student was allowed to return to the area where students received their diplomas. The student was given his diploma.
The District’s approved graduation uniform is a cap and gown. Students may wear, stoles, cords or medals that have been earned and awarded to students at prior ceremonies. Unfortunately, prior to the COHS graduation ceremony, school officials were not given the opportunity to discuss with the family the student’s desire to wear the cloth.
All Cosumnes Oaks High School seniors and their parents received written and verbal communication on multiple occasions from school officials that reminded students regarding appropriate graduation ceremony attire.
Related Links found on the Elk Grove Unified School District web site
About the Elk Grove Unified School District
The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) is the fifth-largest school district in California located in southern Sacramento County. EGUSD covers 320 square miles and includes 65 schools: 40 elementary schools, nine middle schools, nine high schools, five alternative education schools, an adult school, one charter school and a virtual academy. Offering a multitude of educational programs, including over 40 career-themed academies and pathways within 13 industry sectors, we prepare our students for college and career by supporting them with the means to be creative problem solvers; self-aware, self-reliant, and self-disciplined; technically literate; effective communicators and collaborators; and engaged in the community as individuals with integrity. We integrate rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experiences and strive for having every student learning in every classroom, every subject, every day.
# # #