A Sapulpa Oklahoma High School is refusing to allow Native American graduating senior Liseanne Yazzie to wear traditional moccasins to her graduation ceremony.

Ironically, the school mascot is a Native American chief wearing a headdress.

Yazzie says that instead of wearing heels or tennis shoes to her Sapulpa High School graduation, she asked her principal if she could wear traditional Navajo moccasins in the graduation ceremony. The principal and administrators decided it would be against the school district's policy.

Yazzie noted that the decision was ironic because her school’s mascot is a Chieftain and students often wear t-shirts with the logo of a Chief in a headdress.

Yazzie’s mother, Michelle Bear Robe, agreed with her daughter.

“How is it is it that this school can have an Indian chief mascot, but you won't let us wear our traditional clothes? It's frustrating in this day and age that the school would be this way with this, I could even understand if we were wearing something that might draw a massive amount of attention, or something that was big and flamboyant,” says Bear Robe, “but 90% of the people wouldn't even notice my daughter would be wearing her moccasins. until she even went on stage. I don't know what the big deal is.”

“I am going to continue this fight, she has three little brothers who might have to face the same thing,” said Bear Robe.


Responses to "An Oklahoma High School refused a Native American to wear traditional moccasins."

  1. Tennis shoes okay? You have good to to be kidding me. There is absolutely no reason not to agree with this request other than whoever is making the decision is a bonehead!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just goes to show that discrimination is alive and well . . . if this had happened to a black person, it would be all over the national news. I would sue the Hell out of the school district. What does wearing your own traditional foot wear have to do with education?! Do they also ban students with purple hair and tattoos? Moccasins are part of our culture. Too bad the whites don't have any.

  3. I understand being respectful, but it's too bad this young woman felt she had to ask "permission" to wear traditional anything... especially footwear. I've seen people wear everything from heels, combat boots, and slippers to going barefoot in their graduation ceremonies. If others were allowed to wear tennis shoes, there obviously wasn't any set standard. And even if there was, I would say wear them anyway. If people are there for the right reason, to celebrate the student's achievements, they won't be looking at their shoes anyway.

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