Oklahoma school allows eagle feathers in graduation ceremony

VIAN, Okla. – An Oklahoma school will allow Cherokee students to wear eagle feathers during a graduation ceremony after the state attorney general intervened citing religious freedom.

The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter in a letter Tuesday urged Vian school officials to grant a student’s request to wear a ceremonial eagle feather to her graduation. A similar request had been declined in May in the Vian district, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa.

The Cherokee Nation had asked board members earlier this month to grant a religious exemption for students seeking to practice traditional Cherokee spirituality. Hunter’s letter arrived as school officials were considering the request.

Superintendent Victor Salcedo says the district will follow Hunter’s advice. He says discussions with Cherokee students were cordial and officials want to respect students.