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District Policies

Viewing Policy: BP 5127 – Graduation Ceremonies And Activities

BP 5127


Graduation Ceremonies And Activities


High school graduation ceremonies shall be held to recognize those students who have earned a diploma by successfully completing the required course of study, satisfying The San Benito County Office of Education (SBCOE) standards, and passing any required assessments.  SBCOE believes that these students deserve the privilege of a public celebration that recognizes the significance of their achievement and encourages them to continue the pursuit of learning throughout their lives.


High school students who have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination or the General Educational Development Test must also meet SBCOE graduation requirements in order to participate in graduation ceremonies.


The SBCOE shall not direct invocations, prayers, or benedictions at graduation ceremonies.


Honors and Awards


The Superintendent or designee shall identify other school-sponsored awards which may be given during graduation exercises. A separate awards program may be held to recognize graduating students receiving other school and nonschool awards.


Conduct at Graduation Ceremonies


Any student participating in a graduation ceremony shall comply with SBCOE policies and regulations pertaining to student conduct.


The Superintendent or designee may require graduating students to wear ceremonial attire, such as cap and gown, at the ceremony.


However, any graduating student who has completed basic training and is an active member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces may, at his/her option, wear his/her military dress uniform at the ceremony.  (Education Code 35183.3)


Disciplinary Considerations


In order to encourage high standards of student conduct and behavior, the principal may deny a student the privilege of participating in graduation ceremonies and/or activities in accordance with school rules.  Prior to denial of the privilege, the student, and where practicable his/her parent/guardian, shall be made aware of the grounds for such denial and shall be given an opportunity to respond.  If a privilege is to be denied, the student and parent/guardian shall receive written notice of the denied privilege and the means whereby he/she may appeal the decision.


Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE: 35183.3 Graduation ceremonies; military dress uniforms; 38119 Lease of personal property; caps and gowns; 48904  Liability of parent or guardian; withholding of grades, diplomas, transcripts; 51225.5  Honorary diplomas; foreign exchange students

51410-51412  Diplomas

COURT DECISIONS: Cole v. Oroville Union High School District, (2000, 9th Cir.) 228 F.3d 1092; Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, (2000) 530 U.S. 290; Lee v. Weisman, (1992) 505 U.S. 577; Sands v. Morongo Unified School District, (1991) 53 Cal. 3d 863; Lemon v. Kurtzman, (1971) 403 U.S. 602

Policy Adopted:  5-10-18