West Bladen High School in North Carolina is coming under heat for taking two students diplomas away after graduation after they wore a cord symbolizing military enlistment at graduation.

West Bladen High School makes it clear they have strict rules for the official graduation ceremony with an email and mail dictating the rules beforehand. But, the policy about graduation cords is one mother Wendy Paris says is ridiculous.

Paris couldn’t be happier that her son, Trey, joined the Army. He was even selected for a special assignment.

“We have a lot of family in the military,” she said. “He will be in international intelligence.

Trey, 18, is on the way to basic training after graduating from West Bladen High School last Friday

“Trey and his friend, Desmond, who both had military cords, just decided that they worked hard for it and they were going to wear them,” Paris said.

Wearing their JROTC cords, the pair symbolized service to the program and commitment to enlist after graduation

A school administrator took back Trey’s diploma, saying he broke the rules. Only pre-approved academic cords are allowed during the official graduation ceremony.

“Ms. Kelly came up to them and asked them if she could see the diplomas, and they handed them to her and she kept them,” Paris said.

The school system ignored requests for an interview, but released the following statement:

“Nationally recognized academic cords are the only cords allowable or permissible during high school graduation. While not allowing a student to wear a military cord may lead to the perception that we are not patriotic, this could not be further from the truth.”

This was a bad look for West Bladen High School from the beginning. The students were in the JROTC program at their school and are embarking on the phase of their lives by enlisting in the military.

That shouldn’t be banned, however, the back-handed way they seized the diplomas and then backtracked after getting bad press and returning the diplomas a day later makes them appear doubly so.

To read the entire article from WRAL News, click here:

Photo: Screenshot WRAL video

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