Redlands senior prohibited from wearing Army sash at graduation

REDLANDS, Calif. (KABC) -- As students across the country graduate from high school, the question of what can be worn at commencement remains an ongoing issue.

Elias Velazquez is set to graduate from Redlands High School on Friday. Soon after he plans on enlisting in the U.S. Army.

He wants to celebrate his decision by wearing his Army sash when he graduates. But Redlands High School has prohibited it.

"I want to show all the hard work that I've done and be proud of who I am and who I'll soon be to my whole country," he said. "It's just disappointing I can't wear this."

A spokesperson with the Redlands Unified School District says while they celebrate and appreciate the military, the dress code doesn't permit any adornment.

A letter outlining graduation activities says only California Scholarship Federation cords will be allowed to be worn during commencement.

His father, Joe Velazquez, disagrees with the policy but says his son will comply.

"Kind of get a little disheartened that a school puts forth a policy that strips that away," said Joe Velazquez.

Elias Velazquez will tuck his sash under his gown as he walks across the stage and will wear it out afterward as he takes pictures with family.
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