Burges High School students outraged after graduation restrictions
POSTED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 8:23pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 5:10pm
EL PASO (KTSM) — Burges High School students said after years of hard work, school leaders are restricting them from wearing certain honor decorations at their graduation.
Jasmin Muniz, senior at Burges High said she was part of the speech and debate club for two years and said the group even advanced to finals. But after all her hard work she finds out she cannot wear these cords she says symbolize all her achievements.
"For all the other schools in EPISD, to let their debate kids wear their cords and for Burges not to, it’s just not right," Muniz said. "I just hope they change their mind before tomorrow."
District officials said each campus has a say on what they want to allow their students to wear at the graduation, and cords for the speech and debate club aren't on that list.
"It’s the only school that isn't allowing students to wear these cords." said Burges senior Victoria Avila. "It’s unfair because we have done just as much as any other group here, and we have done just as many achievements and everything like that and we worked really hard for them."
According to Public Relation Director Assistant Renee de Santos, Burges had announced to graduating seniors multiple times what those cords were throughout the school year.
"The school is violating the students' first amendment rights," said former speech and debate coach Adam Key.
But de Santos said in a statement "The medals and cords worn at graduation ceremonies are a campus decision..." and continues stating "these medals and cords are tradition, academic oriented, Burges driven and a result of cumulative academic effort."
"This is part of academics, this is part of the things we do," said Muniz. "And if they don't do it this year, I just hope next year they change their minds and let other generations wear the cords and push them academically."
Burges' graduation is set for June 12 at 10 a.m. at the Don Haskins Center.