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TUSD superintendent apologizes to recent Tucson High grad over removal of sacred feather from cap

TUCSON HIGH SCHOOL
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 07, 2023

Recent Tucson Magnet High School graduate Jeffrey Sisk received an apology on Friday from Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo over an incident involving the removal of a sacred eagle feather from Sisk's cap before the TMHS graduation ceremony in late May.

Trujillo said in a statement that the request from Tucson High's administration for Sisk to surrender the feather was "inappropriate."

TUSD's policy IKFB-R says students who wish to express honor and respect for their cultural traditions may wear items of traditional Native American significance, including feathers.

The statement reads: "We acknowledge that the pain, stress, frustration, and anxiety that Jeffrey felt just moments before the biggest event of his high school career, as a result of this inaccurate interpretation of policy, as well as the anxiety, frustration, and stress felt by his family, tarnished this once in a lifetime moment for Jeffrey and his family."

Trujillo offered his "sincerest apologies" to Sisk and his family and said he takes full responsibility for "not ensuring that all district administrators have full command and knowledge of the district's graduation ceremony and dress policies."

He added high school administrators will be trained this summer on all aspects of policy IKFB-R, "specifically its provisions and protocols for cultural adornments, to ensure that this situation is not repeated for any other student or family."