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Ruffled cultural symbols in Arizona

/ Source: The Associated Press

Some American Indian high school students are protesting a rule that will keep them from wearing eagle feathers attached to their caps at graduation.

Mesa Public Schools officials say the Westwood High School students are only allowed to wear a cap, gown and honor cord designating academic achievement at the ceremony Thursday.

Leaders within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community planned to meet with school officials Tuesday.

Tribal Council member Ricardo Leonard said tribal elders and family members give feathers to students to recognize their accomplishment of graduating from high school.

The rule is not official district policy, but Elaine Miner, president of the Mesa School Board, said she supported the school rule.

“We can honor those other cultural things at other events where it’s more customary,” Miner said.