Measure drafted after Point Pleasant Borough graduate prohibited from wearing Marine Corps sash
TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblymen Edward H. “Ned’ Thomson, Ryan Peters and Erik Peterson announced they are drafting legislation that would require school districts to allow students to wear military sashes at graduation ceremonies.
“Young men and women who choose to serve our country should be lauded for their decision to join our armed forces,” said Thomson (R-Monmouth).
The bill would force schools to establish graduation policies that would let students joining a military branch wear official articles such as a sash that denotes the branch in which they enlisted.
“Every year, I go to local high schools to honor students entering the military, and it really makes a difference when we show our support,” said Peters (R-Burlington), a former Navy SEAL who currently serves as a lieutenant commander for SEAL Team 18 in the Naval Reserve. “The morale of our military is important, and we should do what we can to boost it. They earned this recognition.”
The bill was drafted in response to a Point Pleasant Borough High School graduate who was told he could not wear a sash indicating he had joined the U.S. Marines at a recent graduation ceremony.
“While schools will retain the authority to govern decorum at graduation, the students joining the armed forces are deserving of special recognition for their decision to serve our nation. Letting them show off their military branch is a simple way to demonstrate our gratitude,” said Thomson. “School districts have to balance many responsibilities and this bill will help ensure there is no confusion regarding the right of these brave men and women to display their patriotism during graduation ceremonies.”