LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District will be finishing the school year on Wednesday, meaning graduation is underway for many students.
Two seniors at Rancho High School said the ceremony dress code for their school is unfair. Both said they were looking to show off their culture and identity during their big moment on stage, but CCSD’s policy said otherwise.
“Allow each student to walk with pride and represent what has allowed them to guide them up until this moment and years to come,” said student Marysol Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is a graduating senior, and wants to wear her green stole, which represents her Latino roots.
Ashley Garcia also said representation on graduation day is important.
“The graduation dress code deprives me of the right to graduate with this stole along with the flag and bird from Guatemala,” she said.
Both seniors addressed their concerns during the last CCSD board meeting during public comment in the hopes for change.
Instead, Superintendent Jesus Jara said it’s up to each school to make decisions.
“From our point of view, there are constitutional issues, but on a broader level, this seems to be a silly thing for the schools to be focused on with the million other issues they’re facing,” said Executive Director of ACLU Nevada Athar Haseebullah.
Haseebullah said first amendment rights don’t stop at students, and CCSD needs to have a districtwide policy in place.
“It’s unclear what problem they’re attempting to solve by restricting the use of accessories,” Haseebullah continued. “It’s not impacting their education, because they completed the requirements.”
Rancho Highs School school sent out an email to students on Friday that read:
The Rancho community wants to celebrate and honor our graduating class with the utmost dignified commencement ceremony. We know that all our Seniors have worked hard to reach this monumental milestone in their lives and deserve a beautiful and memorable ceremony. We are eager to recognize their academic and extracurricular accomplishments during the commencement ceremony for the class of 2022 on June 1st, 2022 at the Orleans Arena.
Class of 2022: We have received additional guidelines from CCSD regarding graduation regalia for our graduation ceremony. Our graduating seniors, families, and friends deserve a dignified, solemn, and honorable commencement ceremony, and we will be implementing the following site-based guideline regarding graduation regalia:
Graduates participating in the graduation ceremony who wish to wear stoles, cords, or medallions representing their cultural heritage that have NOT been earned by Rancho HS/District programs/clubs/activities, must bring those items for specific approval to the graduation rehearsal to be held Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 7:15 a.m.
The administration will review each item before the end of the graduation rehearsal for possible approval. Any items that have not received prior approval at the May 25, 2022 graduation rehearsal, will not be permitted at the graduation ceremony on June 1, 2022.
If you have any specific questions regarding the graduation ceremony, please contact our school at 702-799-7000.
Good luck with your final exams and we look forward to seeing you at the graduation rehearsal on Wednesday, May 25, at 7:15 a.m.
Rams, we are proud of you! Congratulations, Class of 2022!
Rancho HS Administration
“Students should not be battling an unjust dress code weeks before their final moment of glory,” Rodriguez continued.
The ACLU of Nevada said they plan to speak with CCSD soon to establish a fair policy for both students and the school district.