View Full Version : Deja vu: Marine not allowed to march in graduation in dress blues

Rocky C
05-25-16, 02:00 PM
It happened again.

Marine Pvt. Megan Howerton completed her high school's requirements for graduation in December so that she could ship out to boot camp, but she was not allowed to march with her class at the school's graduation ceremony while wearing her dress blues.

During the May 19 ceremony, other students at McHenry High School-West in Illinois began spontaneously chanting “Let Megan walk,” a source familiar with the event told Marine Corps Times. Howerton, who was sitting in the stands, was not involved at all with those students.

The incident kicked up a social media firestorm with the people using the #LetMeganWalk hashtag on Twitter to vent at the high school, but Howerton wants people to settle down so she can focus on being a Marine.

“I was informed of the school policy and I wore my Dress Blues without putting on the gown,” Howerton said in a statement issued through the Marine Corps. “I do not want the controversy that is saturating social media, and I do not want to draw attention away from the Class of 2016.

“That being said, it was my choice not to participate in the graduation. I do not want to make any additional statements and wish to put this all behind me so I can start my career in the Marine Corps.”

The Marine Corps appreciates the sense of accomplishment that Howerton feels when she wears her uniform, but it also recognizes that schools have the discretion to determine what students wear at graduation, said Sgt. Trevon Peracca, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Station Chicago.

Howerton's military occupational specialty is aviation ordnance and she began Marine Combat Training this month, Peracca said.

McHenry Community High School District #156 has posted a message on its Facebook page saying school officials were not trying to prevent Howerton or any of her classmates in taking part in the graduation.

“In some past cases, active-duty students elected to wear their gowns over top of their military uniforms, with their military hats, which was allowed,” the May 20 message says. “The tradition of cap and gown regalia is aimed at the idea that our graduates are celebrated as a whole and in similar attire.”

The school district also called the uproar surrounding officials’ decision not to allow Howerton to march in her uniform “unfortunate.”

“McHenry Community High School has a long standing history of avid support for our military branches of service,” the Facebook message says. “This includes individual recognition of enlistees at the graduation ceremony itself, including enlistees in the presentation of the colors, and special recognition to all veterans in the audience.”

The event comes less than three weeks after New Hampshire passed a law allowing service members to wear their military uniforms at graduation. The law was named after Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, whose high school told him in June 2013 that he would have to wear his dress blues underneath his cap and gown at graduation. He was later killed in Afghanistan.

“In 2014, New Hampshire was devastated by the tragic loss of Brandon Garabrant, who was bravely serving his nation in Afghanistan,” New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a statement after signing the law. “A volunteer firefighter and dedicated Marine, Brandon was committed to serving his fellow citizens, and he had previously wanted to wear his dress uniform to his high school graduation. Unfortunately, he was denied that opportunity.”

05-25-16, 02:31 PM
This school is located not far from where I live. The school and county boards there are extremely liberal. (As in Obama.) That being said, she was aware of the policy and chose not to participate in the ceremony, and was gracious enough to ask that people don't make a big deal out of it. It sounds like she is going to be a good Marine.

Phantom Blooper
05-25-16, 03:42 PM
Every year this comes up somewhere.....and gets thousands of social media groupies.....

She graduated from boot camp and earned the title Marine. That should be #1....

Now if she chooses to go in a civilian high school graduation ceremony she should wear the uniform of the day......which is a cap and gown.......save the blues for weddings....funerals....balls....USMC related events and da' grim reaper.

Rules are for the guidance of the wise and the blind obedience of fools.

Tennessee Top
05-25-16, 04:33 PM
I can see the school not wanting to bring attention to just one student. It's a special day for all the graduates. She has the proper attitude ("the world does not revolve around me") so props to her.

Rocky C
05-25-16, 05:24 PM
I agree, she downplayed it and a fine Marine she will be.

05-25-16, 08:46 PM
It's hard to be humble when you're the finest, Semper Fidelis.

05-26-16, 06:29 PM
You are absolutely correct. Humility is a fantastic ethic and well practiced here!!

Phantom Blooper
05-26-16, 06:46 PM
I agree, she downplayed it and a fine Marine she will be.

One could always hope.

And I do give her credit for down playing it.

My point in my 1st post.....every May and June you read about young Marines who want to wear a uniform across the stage and diploma podium........then they are told no from the school because of the school and school boards directives and guidelines for ALL students.....whether the powers that be are liberal,conservative,left or right.

There will be a social media outrage in 2017 and beyond for the next young Marine that wants to wear their blues.......so stay tuned.....but, maybe just maybe they might change the rules.......NOT....

Since my kid is working at Mickey Dees and Burger King after school and has too wear a uniform.....can they wear that? Poleezeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

05-26-16, 06:57 PM
Much ado about nothing ...

Rocky C
05-27-16, 08:50 AM
I don't write it, I just post it for discussion. It is not the first and certainly won't be the last.

05-27-16, 03:52 PM
something that is confusing about this story is this, if she completed her per-requisites in Dec was she getting a GED or was she someone who was held back and had to do "Summer schol" Obviously december isnt in the summer to only come back in May? Im lost because you need a high school diploma to enlist. Did she complete her credits early go to boot camp and come back to graduate?

Also wearing blues and being denied isnt a big deal. First off theres a reason you dont wear Dress Blue alphas to a wedding or anything like that it is so you dont draw attention away from the bride and groom the same should go for graduations. Just because you want to do something doesn't mean it is right. The same argument could be said for the @SShats who want to use the restroom of the gender they associate with if you are going to defend this chick trying to wear dress blues for the simple fact that she wanted to. Given she may rate to wear dress blues its the same thing of good initiative bad judgement.

As i said inthe last thread about this if that last person hadnt have died nothing would have been done about this it would have still been status quo.

Rocky C
05-27-16, 04:23 PM
Yes, she completed the necessary credits to graduate but I just don't understand when I read articles like this.

What's the hurry ? I had way more than enough credits to graduate but I wanted to hang out with my friends at school, proms, parties, etc and walk across that stage and graduate with my class then start my new life.

4 days later I arrived at Parris Island....