TRIBAL REGALIA TOOLKIT – Students’ Rights to Tribal Regalia and Cultural and Religious Objects at Graduation

California state law specifically protects students’ right to wear “traditional tribal regalia or recognized objects of religious or cultural significance as an adornment at school graduation ceremonies.” In addition, state and federal civil rights laws protect student rights to expressive and religious conduct, and freedom of expression as a student. Students have the right to wear an eagle feather in their graduation caps, a beaded graduation cap, and other tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies. Schools cannot limit or prohibit student participation in graduation ceremonies because a student asserts their right to wear tribal regalia. To support students and families who want to wear tribal regalia or cultural and religious objections at graduation, California Indian Legal Services, ACLU of Northern California, and ACLU of Southern California created a Tribal Regalia at Commencement Toolkit with resources to support students and families advocate for this right at graduation.