Native Youth Fights to Wear Eagle Feather, Beaded Cap & Honor Cord at Graduation Ceremony

High school senior Tvli Birdshead wants to wear an eagle feather, beaded graduation cap and honor cord to his graduation ceremony.

Published April 13, 2019

ADA, Okla. — A high school senior is being denied the freedom to wear his Native American regalia to the upcoming graduation ceremony because of his school district’s dress code policy, according to a report by television station, Oklahoma News 4.

Tvli Birdshead

High school senior Tvli Birdshead wants to wear his eagle feather, beaded graduation cap, and Chickasaw Nation Honor cord.

But school officials at Latta High School in Ada, Oklahoma says it is against the Latta School District’s dress code policy for during a graduation ceremony and there will be no exceptions.

“Wearing these things is acknowledging that this is the step to a higher education,” senior Tvli Birdshead said.

Two tribes in Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation and Cherokee Nation, give out honor cords to high school seniors.

Chickasaw Nation released this statement to News 4 regarding the new cords: “We hope these cords serve as a symbol of that pride and source of encouragement for years to come and we hope that all institutions recognize our intent.”

The Birdshead family has asked the ACLU to assist them. They are asking supporters to attend a May 6 school district board of education meeting to have the dress code policy reversed.

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