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American Indian graduate fined for wearing feather

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) – An American Indian student says she’s being fined $1,000 for wearing a feather on her mortarboard when she graduated from high school in south Alabama in late May.

Chelsey Ramer tells WPMI-TV ( that she feels like she’s being discriminated against by her alma mater, Escambia Academy in Atmore.

The 17-year-old is part of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and she says she wore a feather at graduation last month to honor her heritage.

The school now is making Ramer pay a $1,000 fine to get her diploma and official transcript. She’s accused of violating school policy.

A school contract says students and staff are not allowed to wear extra items during graduation unless they’re approved in advance by the administration.

The school headmaster didn’t return a message seeking comment Thursday.

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