Skip to Content

Marines plan to skip D60 graduation after district says uniforms must be covered by cap and gown

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) - Walking across the stage at graduation is something nearly all parents look forward to. But a Pueblo parent said that has now changed for him because his son and two other Marine graduates have discovered they will not be allowed to wear their dress blues to graduation unless the uniforms are covered by a cap and gown. 

"Being that I'm a veteran, this does ring a hard, emotional bell with me. I must say, my son did earn this title of the United States Marine," said Tom Pencis.

"You might as well put a gown over the United States flag. Are they going to do that? I doubt it," said Pencis.

Thomas Pencis, Jacob Dalton, and Christopher Ferguson graduated early from Centennial High School in Pueblo in the Fall and chose to serve their country. 

"We come back from boot camp. We spent 13 weeks there and we come back and all of a sudden it's a no, we're not allowed to walk in our dress blues. We have to put a cap and gown above and over our dress blues and we just don't agree with that at all," said Dalton.

All three were planning on walking across the stage inside the Southwest Motors Event Center but now the trio has changed their minds.

 "If I am not allowed to wear my uniform, I will not walk with my graduating class because I have earned the title United States Marine and I have a right to wear my dress," said Thomas Pencis.

 Dalton said it's disrespectful to Pueblo, which is known as "the Home of Heroes'' and those who served. 

"Pueblo's known for the veterans. We have two or four Medal of Honor recipients, two of which were United States Marines. We wear our uniform, not because we only earned it but because we represent the marines who have sacrificed their lives in other battles," said Dalton.

KRDO13 reached out to Pueblo District 60 about this issue. A spokesperson sent us a formal statement below.

Pueblo School District 60 is looking forward to honoring all of our graduates at commencement exercises later this month. We are also proud to honor those students who have volunteered to serve their country with special recognition at each of our graduations. Students who may have earned the right to wear their military uniforms are welcome to do so, so long as their school cap and gown are worn in a consistent fashion with all other graduates. Commencement exercises are school functions, and all graduates are participating as students, not in their military role. Wearing the traditional cap and gown for commencement has always been standard protocol in Pueblo D60. 

Pueblo District 60
Article Topic Follows: News
local news

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content