Military Tassels Banned At Jefferson County High School Graduation Ceremony

Image Credit: Google Earth

By David Seal –

After nearly a week of fact-seeking to help concerned citizens get to the bottom of an issue concerning the wearing of military tassels at the Jefferson County High School graduation ceremony, questions remain unanswered as of the publication time of this article. 

School system policy has always been a moving target in Jefferson County; but this particular issue should be an easy one to resolve. However, the resolution is proving to be elusive.

1- Why are students who are committed to enlisting in the United States Military while in high school not being given clear permission to wear a military tassel on their cap at graduation.

2- Is the above policy question decided by the school board, or is the policy made at the building level?

3- Can the Director of Schools reverse the decision if students and parents are not satisfied with the decision or policy?


The following is a statement made by the Director of Jefferson County Schools, issued on Thursday May 12, 2022, 12:28 PM

Please ask the parents to reach out to the principal. They can make their request or share their concern with Mr. Rogers. This follows board policy that encourages any conflict be resolved at the level closest to the issue first. Traditionally, the admin has used a graduation committee composed of faculty members from JCHS to review these type issues and requests. Board policy only addresses things that must be recognized per state guidance. Schools may add to the list of recognitions. Hope this helps. Have a great day.” – Shane [Johnston], Director of Jefferson County Schools

Apparently, the decision to permit, or deny, the wearing of a military tassel on graduation caps is left up to a committee of teachers, no guarantee that a young man or woman who has decided to serve our nation and risk their life for our freedom would get to wear a 6-inch string tassel on their graduation cap. This uncertainty is unacceptable to a young person that has made such a strong commitment.

Jefferson County resident and veteran Marcus Reed comments as follows.

I have been made aware of a policy at JCHS of not allowing Graduates of the Senior Class who are volunteering to serve our Country by attending a military service academy or entering into military service as enlisted to wear a military tassel on their graduation cap. Evidently, the leadership of our School System have denied these young women and men (who most likely were part of the outstanding JROTC program at JCHS) of wearing a tassel of their services military colors on their cap. In my opinion this is wrong! According to statistics less than 1% of the U.S. population is serving in this Country’s volunteer military services. I believe it takes a young person of courage, integrity, and love of country to commit themselves to military service. I’m of the old breed veteran and I am grateful we have young people who love this great Country who freely accept the oath of enlistment to serve as enlisted or as an officer! I thank God for them. The military is not a club! The military trains for war to close with and destroy the enemy by close combat. Some of these young people could be in harm’s way shortly. Let them wear their tassel with service colors.” – LT. COL. Marcus Reed USMC (Retired)

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Since permission to wear a military tassel at graduation is in a state of limbo and clear answers are not available to students and citizens, all seven Jefferson County School Board members should recognize that a commitment to military service by a high school student is an extraordinary achievement, worthy of special permission to adorn their graduation cap with a military tassel at the commencement ceremony. Each board member should exercise their authority by contacting the Director of Jefferson County Schools and insist that students be permitted to wear their military tassel at graduation. Students and their parents should be given clear guidance on this immediately.

Students, or their parents, should not be put in the position of contacting a school building principal to beg for permission to express their patriotism and commitment to military service at graduation.

*This op-ed originally appeared in the Jefferson County Post.  Republished here by request of the author.

About the Author: David Seal is a retired Jefferson County educator, recognized artist, local businessman, and current Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party. He has also served Jefferson County as a County Commissioner and is a lobbyist for the people on issues such as eminent domain, property rights, education, and broadband accessibility on the state level.

3 thoughts on “Military Tassels Banned At Jefferson County High School Graduation Ceremony

  • May 24, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    No wonder this country is in such a mess, Wasting time and resources arguing over a Tassels!!

  • May 28, 2022 at 4:46 am

    Not allowing these patriotic individuals to wear a tassel representing their chosen service is an absolute travesty. We trying to go woke here? Whoever made this decision should be ashamed of themselves.

    • February 25, 2023 at 2:20 am

      If not allowed, each student should take one with them and when they pick up their diploma attach same to cap. Teachers should not have the authority to make that choice for them.


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