Controversy Erupts Following Marshall H.S. Graduation
Marshall High School held its graduation ceremony on Sunday and a firestorm of controversy has followed. Two graduates, who are currently training to be Marines, say they were mistreated by two school officials because they wore their military uniforms instead of traditional gowns at the ceremony.
[UPDATE: Marshall Public Schools gives official statement on graduation incident. CLICK HERE to read the update.]
Parents Jon and Christi Shaver say their son and a fellow student had spent the last two months training in South Carolina before graduating from boot camp. They then took a ten day leave to come back for graduation Sunday. Awhile back, the students reportedly asked if they could wear their uniforms for the ceremony. Marshall Public Schools has a policy that all graduates must wear graduation robes at commencement. The school declined the request but did say they would allow them to wear cords on the gown honoring their service, introduce them by rank at the ceremony and denote their service in the printed programs. The school says they never heard back from the family until yesterday when the two students showed up at graduation in their military uniforms anyway. The two were allowed to walk and everything seemed to be working out.
But Christy Shaver, said in a Facebook post that when her son shook hands with School Board Member Dr. George Seifert he told him he was a "disappointment". She says Principal Scott Hutchins told him something to the effect of "he was a dishonorable Marine because he came in uniform and threatened to watch from the stands if he wasn't allowed to wear it." Again, these comments are alleged and the school is conducting its own investigation.
Dr. Seifert told WBCK in an exclusive response that when he addressed Shaver's son at the ceremony he said "Congratulations, I'm disappointed." Efforts to obtain an official statement from other school administrators have not been successful. The Marshall Public Schools Board Of Education did put out an official statement on their Facebook page Sunday evening regarding the issue:
The Shaver family says all they want from the school is a formal apology by Principal Hutchins and Dr. Seifert for the alleged remarks and disrespect to their son. Jon says that he doesn't want anyone fired or to resign due to this. He just wants it made right.
There was a variety of responses to the issue on the Facebook post by the school district: