Escambia Academy in Atmore, Alabama has fined the graduating senior Chelsey Ramer $1,000 and are holding her diploma and graduating transcripts in ransom because she hung a lone eagle feather alongside her cap’s tassel during the May 23 commencement ceremony.
Chelsey, a member of the Porch Creak Band of Indians tribe, told Indian Country Today Media that the feather was an important spiritual and cultural symbol of pride.
Denying her right to wear a subtle and appropriately displayed Eagle feather during her graduating ceremony, then fining her and holding her diploma and transcripts hostage is appalling and violates her religious rights. The Academy is discriminating against her Native American heritage. This decision must be repealed immediately, the fine revoked, and her certificate issued as soon as possible.