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Arizona Senate Passes Bill That Bans Prohibiting Tribal Regalia At Graduations

The Arizona Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit public schools from banning Native American students from wearing traditional tribal regalia or objects of cultural significance to their graduation ceremonies. This includes an eagle feather or eagle plume. 

The legislation — originally sponsored by former state Rep. Arlando Teller who left the legislature for a job with the Biden administration — will take effect immediately, pending Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature. 

“I wish to congratulate all the 2020-21 graduates and hope that they’re all able to wear their Native American outfits and traditional clothes to graduation," said state Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai is one of the bill’s supporters.

In 2019, Valley Vista High School in Surprise banned a student and member of a Sioux tribe from wearing traditional beads on her cap to her graduation ceremony.

Rocio Hernandez is a senior field correspondent who was raised in the Las Vegas valley. She temporarily left the desert to work as the first bilingual reporter at KUER in Salt Lake City, Utah. There she covered immigration and education stories. Prior to KUER, Hernandez worked at the Associated Press’s office in Phoenix and has also interned for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Reno Public Radio (KUNR) and the East Bay Times. Hernandez fell in love with audio storytelling after participating in an NPR's “Next Gen Radio” training as a student at the University of Nevada, Reno.In her spare time, Hernandez enjoys cuddling with her two poodles, sipping margaritas and spending time with her husband.