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CCSD students continue to push for graduation dress code changes

CCSD board grad dress code changes
Posted at 9:04 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 00:14:00-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A group of students went to the Clark County School District board meeting Thursday to demand dress code reform for graduation ceremonies, looking to wear items relating to their heritage, culture, and identity.

“As my graduation is approaching, my concerns of walking across this stage without this stole are only increasing.”

A stole that represents Ashley Garcia-Valladares’ heritage as a proud daughter of Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants. Garcia-Valladares and a group of seniors from Rancho High School continue to seek changes in the district’s graduation dress code.

“If we don’t have anything done by this week or let alone next week, there’s no way we’ll be able to come home to graduation with our culture, heritage or identity items,” Marysol Rodriguez said.

RELATED STORY: Students protest over CCSD's graduation dress code

This comes after students protested the day before in front of their school. The current dress code only allows items that are school-affiliated to be worn at the ceremony. The CCSD board asked Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara to clarify.

“What students are allowed to wear is a site-based decision. If groups are requesting to wear cords, sashes, etc., you may submit the criteria to be in the club. That’s made at the school level,” he said.

Garcia-Valladares says his response brought confusion and frustration.

“We’ve been told by our administration countless times that this was a district problem,” she said.

Rodriguez, who wants to wear a stole representing her Hispanic heritage, says Dr. Jara’s response was simply passing the buck.

“When Dr. Jara announced it wasn’t their issue, it’s the schools. Once again, we’re being tossed around. We’re not really being thought of and it’s honestly just disrespectful,” she said.

RELATED STORY: Students seeking change in Clark County School District graduation dress code

In a previous statement given to Channel 13, the district says in part:

"The focus should remain on the purpose of a graduation ceremony which is to celebrate students who have successfully met the academic and extracurricular requirements for graduation."

Garcia-Valladares says she and her peers will continue to advocate their cause.

“We’re going to keep voicing our concerns and we’re going to keep coming to these board meetings until we have something finally resolved,” she said.

The students say they will be in touch with their principal at Rancho High School to get some clarification on the policy.