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Marine Not Allowed To Wear Uniform For High School Graduation

WEXFORD (KDKA) -- A young Marine just out of boot camp is fighting a different fight.

The 17-year-old North Allegheny student wants to wear her Marine dress blues to her graduation ceremony, but was told she was not permitted to do so.

Lindsay Starr, of Wexford, graduated from North Allegheny High School early, joined the Marines, spent three months in boot camp, graduated and is ready to serve as a United States Marine.

"When you wear this uniform, you wear it with pride," she said.

Starr called North Allegheny High School and then visited the campus wearing her dress blues. Her request was to walk across the stage wearing her new uniform.

"I'm just trying to show pride in what I belong to now. I belong to the United States Marine Corps as a 17-year-old," she said. "Like, c'mon, now."

The students will gather on Friday night wearing the North Allegheny colors. Starr is fine with that. Still, the teenager is convinced allowing her to wear her dress blues would say a lot about the freedoms we all have.

"We're here for you, we're here to serve our country," Starr said. "We're here to protect the freedoms that you enjoy, public schools – you enjoy that freedom because someone went out and died for it," Starr said.

Privately, teachers and students believe Starr should be able to wear her Marine dress blues. That doesn't matter much. Administrators say policy is policy – wear the school colors – the cap and gown for the graduation ceremony – or don't walk at all.

"There should be no reason for them to say no," Starr said. "They don't have to do anything. I come in my uniform, shake hands, get my diploma and it's over."

The school released a statement: "We have had these requests before. We just don't do it. The required dress is cap and gown."

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