Uniforms OK for 2016 graduation

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/14/2016 10:47:09 AM

Any senior at ConVal who completes military basic training before graduation in June can now wear their military uniform to the ceremony instead of a cap and gown.

The School Board adopted the policy April 5, two days before the N.H. Senate approved a bill that accomplishes the same end, giving any high school student who completes boot camp the “right” to wear their uniform at graduation.

Brandon’s Law, as it’s called, was named in honor of U.S. Marine Brandon Garabrant – a ConVal High School graduate killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in June 2014. Garabrant had requested to wear his Marine uniform to ConVal graduation in June 2013. He was due to graduate from Marine boot camp the day before graduation, and had wanted to wear his dress blue. But school administrators denied the request, requiring him to wear his cap and gown. When Garabrant died one year later, the debate resurfaced.

Friends of Garabrant approached Rep. Frank Edelblut (R-Wilton) about bringing the bill forward this legislative session. Edelblut was the main sponsor of the bill the House and Senate both approved. The Senate vote April 7 was two days after the ConVal School Board voted in the policy.

Though the board has yet to write a formal policy, the motion it approved April 5 is to be “effectively immediately,” said Rich Cahoon, a school board member. The board instructed the Policy Committee to write a formal policy as well. The committee will likely not draft the policy until after Gov. Maggie Hassan signs the bill into the law, formalizing the language the committee will incorporate into the policy.

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