• Native American student told not to display eagle feather at graduation

    By: Siemny Kim

    Updated:

    LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A Native American high school senior is fighting for the right to wear an eagle feather as part of her cap and gown on graduation.

    Initially, officials at Lakes High High School Waverly “Wave” Wilson she'd have to hide the feather under her gown.

    “It made me really upset because it made me feel like I have to hide who I am,” Wilson said.

    On Friday, they softened their stance and told her can wear the eagle feather in her hair as an ornament, but she says that is not enough.

    “'It’s not an ornament. It's so much more than that,” Wilson added. “It's representing who I am, and what all I have worked for.”

    Wilson is extremely proud of her Native American heritage.

    “Just to be able to wear my eagle feather on graduation day would just mean the world to me,” Wilson explained.

    According to the Clover Park School District said "No decorations or modifications are allowed on cords, caps or gowns. Clover Park School District has set the standards to maintain the quality, integrity and honor of the graduating class each year. "

    “I was really, really hoping that the district would look at this and say you know, this is an outdated policy,” mother Andi Dillon said.

    Although the district has come up with what it calls a "possible solution" for Wave to walk during graduation, both she and her mother say it's not enough to just wear the feather in her hair.

    “This is a rite of passage,” Dillon added. “It's not just something, ‘Oh I'm going to wear it to make myself look pretty’.”

    “It's honoring my ancestors and my elders, and basically who I am - Native American” Wilson said.

    Wilson said if the school doesn’t allow her to wear the feather with her cap and gown, she said she will still walk during graduation but that she has a "plan b."

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