High School to Marine: No, You Can’t Wear Your Uniform Instead of Your Cap and Gown

New Hampshire high school senior Brandon Garabrant isn’t your normal student. Case in point: on Friday he’s set to graduate from Marine boot camp; on Saturday he’s set to graduate from high school. And in order to honor one accomplishment while completing another, he had wanted to wear his Marine dress blues instead of his cap and gown. The school’s response: Okay, but only if the uniform is covered up.

Brandon Garabrant (Source: Garabrant family via WMUR)

The school has told Garabrant that he has to keep his blues hidden, citing the student council’s desire that all students wear their caps and gowns during the ConVal Regional High School graduation in Peterborough. That’s according to WMUR-TV.

And late Thursday the school explained that that was actually part of a “compromise” offered to Garabrant six weeks ago.

Garabrant still has to cover up his Marine uniform during the ceremony, officials said, but he can immediately remove his cap and gown after receiving his diploma and walk out wearing his dress blues.

“I think this decision is reasonable and it’s fair, but I certainly understand there are strong opinions both ways, and I respect that,” school Principal Brian Pickering told WMUR.

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It’s unclear how a student disrobing would be less distracting or more respectful of the policy. A call to Pickering was not immediately returned.

“This is about high school graduation, and I think the uniformity of high school graduation is the way it should be,” Dick Dunning, a local principal at South Meadow School Principal and decorated Vietnam vet, said.

As for the family, they’ve acknowledged the offer but haven’t said for if Garabrant will follow suit, so to speak, and take part.

“Brandon earned this right and he went above and beyond what he needed to do in high school,” his mother, Jessie Garabrant, told WMUR before the compromise was extended.

“I think covering up with a cap and gown is disgraceful to the uniform,” she added.

Still, she acknowledged that in a “worst-case scenario” the young Marine “will wear his cap and gown over the uniform.”