Stigler High School Senior Not Allowed To Walk In Ceremony

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STIGLER (KFSM)-- A Stigler High School senior was not allowed to walk with his class at their baccalaureate ceremony on Sunday (May 15) because of what he was wearing.

Keaton Buffington was wearing  jeans, boots and a button down shirt under his cap and gown.

“He said, ‘They're not going to let me walk’, and I said, ‘What's wrong,’ and he said, ‘because of my jeans and my boots, they're not going to let me walk,'” Keaton’s mom, Sheryl Watson, said.


Watson said a teacher told Keaton he could not walk into the ceremony with his class, so he and his family left.

“By the time they told Keaton it was 10 minutes until the service started,” Watson said. “There was no way I could go get him anything.”

Stigler schools superintendent, Monty Guthrie, said the dress code had been discussed many times.

“In class and in group sessions with only seniors and there were texts sent out as well to the parents explaining that the males would be required to wear slacks and at tie,” Guthrie said.

All of the students wore a gown that covered most of their outfit, but Guthrie said it's the principle of the matter.

“Is that important,” Guthrie asked. “That's the question here. What is important is the tone you set when you're wearing a cap and gown. We prefer to represent this as a very formal setting.”

Watson said she didn’t expect special treatment. She said she just wishes it was handled differently.

“If they were that upset about it reprimand him in another way,” Watson said. “Don't send him away from the service. I can't get this moment back. That's what I’m upset about.”

Stigler's graduation ceremony is Tuesday (May 17), and Watson said Keaton will be there dressed accordingly.


  • Jill Martin Johnson

    You can’t see what is on under your gown, so why such the fuss? If it was some big city I might see them turning him away, but I am sure it is a small class, so there should be no reason for him to be sent away.

  • theozarker

    The whole point of this is not what he was wearing – it was his blatant disregard for the rules. If you don’t see a problem with that, then you are part of the problem.

    • Charli Chavez

      THEOZARKER hit the nail right on the head. And mom, you are not helping. You BELIEVE you are doing what’s right be standing up for your son and I can see you have a heart and you love your son. You should, however, be FURIOUS with him for taking this moment from you. Teach him that if you indulge in the behavior, you suffer the consequence. Let him know you are disappointed with his decision NOT to follow the rules. Whether or not you agree with the rule, you are subject to it and the time to complain about it was BEFORE graduation. Thank you faculty and administration for adhering to your standards. That’s what we need in order to prepare them for the workplace.

  • Dyer Rhodes

    That is has bad as that lady over at the chicken planet in Van Buren, AR for warring her Gown outside when she took a break… Supervisor told her she couldn’t ware her gown outside on her break. She told her supervisor she didn’t want her clothes stink so I left my clothes in my locker and the only thing I have on is my underware and I wasn’t going to go outside looking like that… LOL

  • Dansby Parker

    Baccalaureate shouldn’t even be sponsored by the school or held on school premises. It’s a religious ceremony. It should be held in a church and sponsored by churches, parents and kids. Besides that, I have a feeling if he had apologized, promised to wear appropriate attire for graduation and asked if he could stay that they would have let him. The mom said on Facebook that she was cussing them out.

  • Earl Wayne


  • Ryan Rose

    This is pretty ridiculous, I had the amazing opportunity to preach the baccalaureate service at Van Buren High School this past Sunday, and one of the young men who prayed during the service had on jeans and boots, he did an amazing job and I didin’t for a second think, “Oh my goodness, ho dare he wear boots and jeans!” (I wore a suit and tie, because I chose to, on most Sundays I wear jeans or khakis)
    I understand the school had a dress code for the event, but I wore jeans underneath my gown at my college graduation, it’s not like he wore a profane shirt over his gown. You have a young man and his family wanting to attend a religious service prior to a graduation, in the days and times we live in, you are sending the kid away from the opportunity to have encouragement, wisdom, and sound spiritual preaching poured into his life? What kind of logic says, yes this is the wise punishment we want handed down? If anything, the punishment has drawn more attention than allowing him to walk in and sit with his fellow students.
    Poor decision making by those in authority during the event.

  • Angela Foltz

    Gosh, I agree with all the commentators who are saying “He’s covered up, no one can see him WILLFULLY BREAKING THE RULES, so what’s the problem?” Nobody sees me stealing office equipment or the odd $50 from petty cash at work, I nearly always blow through stop signs, stop lights, and go at least 10 miles over the speed limit when I drive and cops aren’t around. If my waitress is inattentive at dinner, I often just walk away without paying because, NO ONE CAN SEE ME, SO WHAT’S THE HARM?
    A rule violation is a violation, regardless of the rule. Breaking rules/laws have consequences. A school graduation with a dress code is neither the time nor place to quote Jefferson, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

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