Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
ATMORE, ALABAMA In a reversal of its decision to withhold the diploma from high graduate Chelsey Ramer for wearing an eagle feather along her tassel from her graduation cap on May 23, the Escambia Academy this week released the seventeen year's diploma.
It also dropped the $1,000 fine that had been imposed on her for not complying with the private school's dress code for high school graduation commencement ceremonies.
Ramer is a tribal citizen of Poarch Band of the Creek Indians.
The story drew international attention because of the school's disciplinary actions towards Ramer, who is currently working for her tribe and plans to attend Troy University in Alabama this fall.
Throughout the month long, Ramer's family has supported her gesture in Native pride.
“First and foremost I love and support my daughter very much. I am so proud of her and her accomplishments. Graduating high school, in today's world, is a huge accomplishment in itself,”
Debra Ramer, Chelsey's mother, commented to Native News Network during the first week of this month.
“The fact that she has plans of continuing her education make me ever more proud. But I am proudest of her for standing up for things that are important to her, no matter the consequence. I'm ashamed to say it but she knows more about our culture and history than I do. She is very proud of our heritage and I respect that. Yes, we as a family discussed the consequences and every scenario imaginable before she made her decision, to wear her eagle feather, but that doesn't make the consequences right. She has strong beliefs and convictions and I will always support that.”
"It is true, Chelsey was given her diploma and we did not have to pay the $1,000,"
said Debra Ramer.
"We also asked if someone paid the fine anonymously. We were told no."
posted June 22, 2013 7:57 am edt