Ardmore High officials consider changing graduation dress code to be more inclusive

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Some are calling it a break in tradition while others are saying it's a step forward. On Wednesday, the Ardmore High School principal announced that students will be able to advocate to wear certain cords at graduation.

For the past 30 years, only students who have been part of Beta or had academic excellence could wear a cord while they walk across the stage. Parents of students who have been recognized at the Limestone County Career Technical school hope to see that change.

These cords aren't just to add a little pop of color to a graduation gown. They're symbols of hard work dedication.

"It certifies and proves that I am an emergency medical technician," Ardmore High School senior Jocelyn Taylor said. She is enrolled at Ardmore High School and the Limestone County Career and Technical Center.

Taylor wore her cords from the tech school at a special ceremony last week. But she was worried she won't be able to wear them at her high school graduation.

"It's just kind of depressing really. It just makes me sad."

Ardmore is the only school in the Limestone County School District with a policy that doesn't allow tech school cords to be worn at graduation.

It's something Jocelyn's mom has been working to change for several weeks.

"I contact him through email. I pleaded with him to kind of change his mind, to rethink it," Mandy Taylor said.

Wednesday, Principal Glenn Bryant decided to allow students to come to his office Friday morning before the graduation ceremony to advocate to wear other cords.

"I just feel like he's not giving them enough time," MandyTaylor said.

"I actually do have an appointment, but I'm not going to beg him to let me wear them. It's more of me saying, 'Hey these are my cords. I'm wearing them.'" Jocelyn Taylor said.

The principal will decide during each meeting whether or not he will allow the student to wear their cords at the ceremony.

Ardmore High School has the strictest policy in the Limestone County School District regarding cords that are worn at graduation. Each school sets their own rules regarding this issue.

WHNT News 19 reached out to the Limestone County School District Superintendent Tom Sisk to find out why. He says the board of education decided several years ago to not regulate how each school conducts their graduation ceremonies.

Principal Bryant says he plans to look into officially changing the cord policy next year.