ALABAMA: A high school student in Alabama has been denied her diploma after she wore a feather to graduation. Chelsey Ramer was also fined $1,000 (£658) for wearing the eagle feather on her graduation robe as it was against Escambia Academy High School’s dress code. Ramer is of the Poarch Creek Band of Indians. The eagle feather is part of her Native American heritage, and she wanted to wear the feather as a show of pride. She said to NBC News: “They told me that if I wore it that they would pull me off the field.” The school’s code of conduct states: “Students and staff shall not wear extraneous items during graduation exercises unless approved by the administration.” Ramer asked the school’s head teacher if she could wear the feather, but the head denied her request.

The school states that she will now have to pay $1,000 to get her diploma. Ramer said: “I don’t think it’s fair at all. I feel like it’s discrimination.” Her former teacher Alex Alvarez added: “Being honoured with a feather for graduation is a wonderful experience. It’s a lot more than showing off your culture. It has ties into our spirituality as well.” The student has still not got her diploma, but revealed: “It was worth it. It means a lot to me.”–DS