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Military Stoles and Graduation
Woodland Public Schools
Sunday, June 09, 2019

We wanted to take a moment to clear up confusion on social media regarding two graduates who were not permitted to wear decorative Navy stoles at the Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2019 on Friday.

We are incredibly proud of all of our graduates and their plans for the future, including those who have decided to serve our country by enlisting in our armed forces. However, offering special recognition for one student’s future plans over those of another’s denigrates the plans of other students when their paths aren’t recognized equally.

In accordance with the Student Handbook, only three school organizations recognize graduates with special cord adornments - not stoles - serving to identify significant academic accomplishments:

  1. Students who achieved a GPA in the top 5% of the graduating class;
  2. Students who are National Honor Society members;
  3. Students who are Woodland Academic Scholars.

These cords recognize achievements made during a student’s academic career, not their plans for the future such as enlisting in the military, attending a college, or working as an apprentice.

Students who have made accomplishments outside of the three academic achievements mentioned above are recognized at the annual Senior Night earlier during the week of graduation.

Although the Navy’s representative showed up without prior arrangement 15 minutes after the ceremony began on Senior Night, the high school’s administrators decided to allow the presentation of the stoles even though the majority of military enlistees in the Class of 2019 were not recognized by their respective branches. Recognizing only those who signed up for a particular branch during the commencement ceremony would be unfair to all of our graduates who have enlisted in the armed forces.

We hope this information has cleared up any confusion. We encourage the community to reach out directly to the school with any concerns in the future before sharing misinformation on social media.

Congratulations to all graduates of the Class of 2019! You all should be proud, as we are, of what you have accomplished.