Issuing diplomas to war veterans


(Posted Dec. 15, 2016)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

In times of war, some young Americans left their books behind to serve their country. Instead of picking up where they left off when they returned, they got on with life.

Though they lacked a high school diploma, many of these people made substantial contributions to their communities.

School districts have policies in effect that offer guidelines for awarding special diplomas to these people. On Dec. 13, the Madison-Plains school board approved such a policy that falls in line with state guidelines.

In order to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by veterans who left high school prior to graduation to serve in the armed forces during World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict, the board may award a high school diploma to any veteran of this state, or posthumously to a living relative of a deceased veteran of this state, who meets the requirements established by state law.

The policy was originally adopted in June 2007 and a revised policy adopted in January 2013 as changes were made in state guidelines.

The board may grant a diploma to a World War II, Korean Conflict or Vietnam Conflict veteran if all of the following apply:

  • The veteran either left a public or nonpublic high school located in any state prior to graduation in order to serve in the armed forces of the United States or due to family circumstances and subsequently entered the Armed Forces of the United States;
  • The veteran received an honorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States; and
  • The veteran has not been granted a diploma, honors diploma, a diploma of adult education or a diploma from another school.

The veteran is not required to take the GED or any graduation test in order to qualify for a diploma.

The Governor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs has developed and adopted an application form for use by all county veterans service offices. Upon verification that all requirements have been met, the application is forwarded to the school board and the diploma may be awarded.

The policy also contains a special section that pertains to women.

The school board may grant a high school diploma to any woman who left high school in any state during World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict if the woman either left school to join the work force to support her family or to join the war effort or left school due to family circumstances and subsequently joined the work force or war effort.

The woman must either be a current resident of the state of Ohio or have been previously enrolled in an Ohio high school.

Veterans’ diplomas are presented in conjunction with appropriate events, programs or other occasions, as determined by the superintendent.


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