Graduating from high school is a rite of passage. For students at Plano Senior High School in Texas the ceremony will be bittersweet and not just because the students will miss the high school experience. School administrators have forbidden graduates from wearing the National Honor Society seal.
The school's rule does not just apply to the NHS, WFAA reports. Students are not permitted to wear the insignias or regalia of any club or organization during their graduation in June. Nevertheless, students and parents are upset.
Graduating senior Garrett Frederick joined the NHS in his sophomore year. Like many of the school’s graduates, he thought he was going to be able to wear the organization’s stole until he recently learned otherwise.
"I was really looking forward to wearing it and being able to say I was a part of it," Frederick told WFAA, "because I have friends that go to [Plano East High School] and [Plano West High School], and they're all wearing it. So it's like, I don't know why we're not allowed to wear it. I don't get it."
Students work hard to be members of the NHS. According to the organization’s website, students must have a cumulative GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, volunteer in the community, have leadership experience, and maintain good characters.
Frederick put in 20 hours of community service each semester in order to meet all the requirements, WFAA notes.
According to Frederick's mom, KellyAnn, an NHS sponsor said school administrators adopted the policy in an attempt to be more inclusive. KellyAnn, however, disagreed with the school’s motives.
"They deserve it," KellyAnn told WFAA. "They worked so hard for it. If you choose not to work that hard, then that's okay! I wasn't an NHS kid. I didn't wear the NHS stole when I graduated. But friends of mine did, and I was OK!"
Plano Independent School District confirmed Plano Senior’s policy and said it does vary from those of the other high schools in the district.
At Plano East and Plano West high schools, students are permitted to wear their NHS stoles.
Frederick said he hopes his school’s policy will soon change and has started a petition.