School board members in Bismarck have agreed to consider allowing students to wear military stoles at graduation.
Last month, Sgt. First Class Jonathan Hoefer, of the local U.S. Army and Army Reserve recruiting office, and several students appealed to board members about wearing military stoles, which are narrow strips of cloth worn over the shoulders, often indicating an honor or affiliation, at graduation.
After the request, the board directed Hornbacher to research what other schools in North Dakota allow. Hornbacher told the board on Monday that no schools in North Dakota allow this, but the district does give students the option to include their military titles at graduation.
“I understand that no other school district is doing that, but there’s nothing that says we can’t be a leader on this issue,” Board President Matt Sagsveen said.
Board Member Jon Lee said allowing students to wear a stole “is a good way for us to support them.”
In 2015, the district decided to allow Native American students to wear an eagle feather or plume at graduation. An eagle feather or plume is symbolic in Native American cultures and is given at milestones in their lives, such as graduation.
The board asked Hornbacher to look at ways the district could recognize students in the military, including by wearing their stoles at graduation. This will be discussed again at the board’s April 22 meeting.