Monday, June 13, 2005

Diploma Tied Up

A Maryland high school is tying up 17-year-old Thomas Benya's diploma.

Seems the teenager committed the crime of wearing a bolo tie under his graduation gown. That violated the dress code. Boys were supposed to wear a necktie - exactly what a bolo is -- just ask anyone west of the Mississippi. And Benya, a native American, sees bolos as proper ties.

Mr Benya is getting some support from out west. Gov Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) is miffed. He told the Washington Post:

"To have some high school say that a bolo tie is not a tie is an outrage. In Montana and anyplace in Indian country, a bolo tie is dressed up. A tie is a tie."

OK, that's out west. This happened in Charles County, Maryland, a very rural suburb of Washington, DC, on the right coast.

But the same issue of bolo ties' appropriateness came up a few years ago in the US Senate -- where male Senators must wear a tie on the Senate floor. Then-Sen Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) had refused to wear any kind of tie other than a bolo when he was in the House. He'd asked for and gotten permission to wear a bolo in the lower chamber. There wasn't even a second thought in granting it.

After his election to the Senate -- the worlds greatest deliberative body, decided without debate that bolos are in fact neckties -- and quite appropriate wear when debating the issues of the Republic.

The former Senator also chimed in for Mr Benya, telling the Post:

"It seems to me that if the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate give latitude to members of the highest body in the land, a high school shouldn't be so uptight...."

You would think if the it were good enough for the US Senate, it'd be good enough for Maurice J. McDonough High School.

[Gov Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), left, and
former-Sen Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO)
in bolo ties while in formal government settings.
Photo Credits: Gov Schweitzer's press office,
and Sen Campbell courtesey of the Denver Post]

And if a high school is this out of touch with America, and can't accept what is considered business wear west of the Mississippi -- or even west of the Potomac now -- perhaps Mr Benya shouldn't worry.

A diploma from such a backwards, backwater school isn't worth having.

Perhaps he should just move on. Maybe consider a job in the Senate. (Houston Chronicle)

[Crossposted at]

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