Florida governor signs bill allowing military teens to wear uniforms at graduation

A bill allowing Florida high school students serving in the military to wear their uniforms at graduation was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, BayNews9 reported.

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The new law will go into effect July 1, the television station reported.

The bill covers students who participated in the Split Option program who have completed basic training, and not ROTC students, BayNews9 reported.

Impetus for passing the bill came after Emily Olson, a senior at Newsome High School in suburban Tampa, attempted to wear her military uniform to graduation last year, the television station reported.

Olson, a member of the Army Reserve who was wearing her dress blues, was told she could not walk with her class unless she covered the uniform with her cap and gown. When she refused, Olson said she was force to sit and watch from the audience as her classmates graduated.

Olson told BayNews9 she was glad to see the bill signed into law.

“I was excited to hear about Gov. DeSantis signing the bill into law. It was unfortunate that I was excluded last year due to my affiliation with the military,” Olson told the television station. “It’s my hope that future high school students who also serve like I did, will receive the respect they deserve from the Florida educators.”

State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, agreed.

"This young woman has set an example and what happened to her won't happen again," Lee told BayNews9. "And we can't fix her graduation got messed up, but we can sure make sure it doesn't happen to another young person."

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