Gov. Ron DeSantis okays military dress uniforms for high school graduations

The law emerged after a Newsome High student was denied the right to wear the uniform in her 2018 commencement.
Newsome High School graduation at the Florida State Fairgrounds in 2016. [Chris Urso | Times]
Newsome High School graduation at the Florida State Fairgrounds in 2016. [Chris Urso | Times]
Published May 24

Just in time for many high school graduations, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure ensuring that seniors in the military may wear their dress uniforms instead of a cap and gown at their ceremonies.

DeSantis, a former Navy officer, approved SB 292 to become law upon his signature, which came Thursday.

Two Hillsborough County lawmakers sponsored the legislation after learning about a situation at Newsome High School’s 2018 graduation.

Newsome senior Emily Olson already had completed basic training, and wanted to wear her dress blues during the event, to show her accomplishment. School officials denied her request.

Sen. Tom Lee and Rep. Mike Beltran each argued during session that while it might have been understandable why the school acted as it did, to avoid unintended consequences, the state should clarify the rules so others are not faced with a similar situation.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

It became law in time for Newsome’s 2019 commencement, which takes place Tuesday.

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