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Marine Ordered To Wear Cap, Gown For High School Graduation

WEXFORD (KDKA) -- A local Marine wore a cap and gown instead of her uniform dress blues during her high school graduation ceremony after all.

Pvt. Lindsay Starr, 17, participated in North Allegheny High School's graduation. Starr finished high school early and then joined the Marines.

She just finished boot camp earlier this month and returned home to Wexford in order to walk with her classmates. She wanted to wear her dress blues during the ceremony, but the school district initially said she had to be in a cap and gown.

In a change of heart on Thursday, the district released a statement that said Starr would be allowed to wear her military uniform during the graduation.

However, KDKA's Marty Griffin is reporting that Congressman Jason Altmire says that the Marines have told Starr not to wear her uniform.

Starr's interview with KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin created a political firestorm heard all the way in Washington DC in the offices of Congressman Jason Altmire, D-McCandless.

"Private Starr in my opinion is a hero," he said. "She's somebody who exemplifies everything that America is about. It's what we want Americans to be and I think North Allegheny should be and I'm sure is extremely proud of her accomplishment."

Marine higher-ups told Starr to follow orders and wear the cap and gown, enjoy herself and prepare to serve her country.

The district initially told Starr she was not permitted to wear her dress blues, but after citing a 2010 law granting a sort of cap and gown exemption to anyone in the military, they did an about face.

"The situation maybe could have been handled better, but it doesn't take anything away from the fact Private Starr is a hero and we are so proud of her," Altmire said.

Marine insiders tell Marty Griffin this situation will not affect Starr's career in the Marines.

Starr was instructed not to talk to the media.

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