Florida guarantees high school students can wear military dress uniforms at graduation

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Newsome High School Senior Emily Olson with her military uniform to graduation. Olson already had completed basic training, and wanted to wear her dress blues during the event, to show her accomplishment. School officials denied her request.

(Spectrum Bay News 9 image)

Just in time for many high school graduations, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure ensuring that seniors in the military may wear their dress uniforms instead of a cap and gown at their ceremonies.

DeSantis, a former Navy officer, approved SB 292 to become law upon his signature, which came Thursday.


Two Hillsborough County lawmakers sponsored the legislation after learning about a situation at Newsome High School's 2018 graduation.

Newsome senior Emily Olson already had completed basic training, and wanted to wear her dress blues during the event, to show her accomplishment. School officials denied her request.

Sen. Tom Lee and Rep. Mike Beltran each argued during session that while it might have been understandable why the school acted as it did, to avoid unintended consequences, the state should clarify the rules so others are not faced with a similar situation.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

It became law in time for Newsome's 2019 commencement, which takes place Tuesday.

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©2019 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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