For her high school graduation ceremony this week, Dylan McCabe planned to honor her Native American heritage by walking across the stage in a ceremonial dress under her graduation gown and wearing moccasins on her feet.
“I want to have that connection to my Navajo side as I walk across that stage,” she told FOX 5.
She said she didn’t think it would be a problem, but considering her Charles County high school has a graduation dress code, she decided to check with her principal.
“He only approved the dress because it was not visible, but he didn’t approve the leggings and moccasins because they showed,” McCabe said.
The moccasins have special significance, she said. They were the same ones she wore during a four-day coming-of-age ritual when she was 11 years old.
“You run three times a day – at daybreak, noon and dusk – wearing those moccasins,” said McCabe. “When you run, you run farther and farther each time signifying that you can push yourself harder and harder each time with that personal strength and endurance.”