Student says school won’t allow her to wear Girl Scout honor cords for graduation

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Kalaheo High School student wants to wear the honor cords she received from the Girl Scouts when she graduates. The school says she can’t. Kendall Larson is a recipient of the Gold Award. It’s the highest award given to a Girl Scout and they are given to those who initiate community-centered projects. So she’s not taking no for an answer. Kendall is currently a junior at Kalaheo High.

“If I’m allowed to show my pride at school saying hey I’m a valedictorian when I walk across that stage, I kind of want to say yeah I’m a Gold Award Girl Scout,” she said.

Kendall was discouraged when her principal said she couldn’t wear the Girl Scout recognition cords when she graduates.

“My principal told me it was a rule that we are not allowed to,” Kendall said.

“I don’t know the full story of why the school said no. I know some schools across the nation do allow it, but I think one thing they do need to take into consideration is this is a national award that very few people get. It’s something that the girls are very proud of,” said Girl Scouts of Hawaii CEO Shari Chang. “Only 6 percent of girls nation-wide qualify for the Gold Award because it’s not easy to get.”

The Department of Education sent us a statement on what honors recognition cords are accepted at Kalaheo High School and they include academic, STEM, and Career Technical Education honors. A spokeswoman says there is no statewide policy that dictates graduation dress codes. It’s handled on a school-by-school basis.

“It’s not a bad thing for us to allow it. Sure it shows us for being different than others but sometimes being different is a good thing,” said Kendall.

Kendall didn’t take no for an answer.

“I wrote an entire bill for my Gold Award, so right after I have done that, he told me no, and my immediate thought process was well I just did a whole bunch of legislation I can make this change. I’m going to.

She was introduced to Councilwoman Kymberly Pine and together they wrote a resolution urging the Board of Education to amend the rules.

“We should be able to say hey I did this in my life that is what makes me who I am today and this is how I got here in my life,” she said.

Kendall is hoping for change by the time she graduates in 2021. Her career goal is to become a pilot in the air force.

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