CAIR Says Native American Student Should Be Allowed to Wear Eagle Feather at Graduation

Wear Eagle Feather at Graduation 05 15 2015 Courtesy Photo/CBS(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 5/15/2015) – The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today called on the Caney Valley School District to allow a Native American senior to wear an eagle feather in her graduation cap during the graduation ceremony.

SEE: Feather at Graduation or Lawsuit? That’s Up to Caney Valley School District

Senior Hayden Layne Griffith is a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians and an eagle feather is presented and worn to mark special occasions such as weddings, graduations and powwows. Griffith’s mother posted a photo of her wearing the feather in her graduation cap, but school officials told the family that she would not able to wear the feather at graduation.

“We join other organizations and members of minority religions to request that the school district honor this student’s rights to freely exercise her religion and express her beliefs. The denial of these fundamental rights is a concern for Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, and we strongly encourage the school to grant Ms. Griffith’s request,” said CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure.

The ACLU of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Indian legal Services, the Native American Rights Fund, and law firm Conner and Winters have issued a letter to the superintendent of the Caney Valley Schools Board of Education requesting that the Board make a decision on Friday, May 15.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
  
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CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, E-Mail: asoltani@cair.com


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