Ramer family
Pictured is the Ramer family, from left, Jamie Ramer, Chelsey’s father; Chelsey Ramer; and Debra Ramer, her mother, at Chelsey’s graduation.

Poarch Creek Student Not Required to Pay Fine, Receives Diploma

Vincent Schilling

After nearly a month of not knowing her fate, Chelsey Ramer, of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and her family have been informed by Escambia Academy officials that she would not have to pay a $1,000 fine for wearing an eagle feather on her cap during her graduation ceremony in May. (Related story: “Poarch Creek Student Fined for Wearing Eagle Feather at Graduation)

Escambia interim headmaster David Walker was not able to comment with any specific details about the matter, but he did confirm that Ramer would receive her diploma and would not pay the $1,000 fine.

“The young lady has her diploma; she received it yesterday. She did not have to pay a fine,” said Walker. “The decision was made before graduation. Chelsey has done everything she needed to do to fulfill her graduation requirement.”

Even if Ramer had been made to pay the fine, enough money was raised by an online campaign to cover the cost, so the family wouldn’t have to pay it. The “Chelsey Ramer can’t graduate because she is proud to be Native American” campaign was started by Dan Morrison, communications director at First Peoples Worldwide, and has raised $1,127 that will now go to Chelsey’s education. (Related story: “Poarch Creek Student’s Fine Raised By Online Donations)

Walker said the Escambia Academy board would be releasing a statement this week to the local news.

The Ramer family says they are pleased with the decision and do not wish to release a formal statement until the school releases their comments.

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Chief Johnny Brave Charging Warrior's picture
Chief Johnny Br...
Submitted by Chief Johnny Br... on
You can not hold back an Individual who has family, country and a passion to do the best. Each American is endowed with ancestral surroundings and that will never change. Those unwritten human inherent rights are what made America great. Native American women like Lori Piestewa, Charlotte Blackelk, Joann Kauffman, etc. All had many racially sexist obstacles thrown in their path when they sought and accomplished their destinies. This is 2013 and not 1492.

Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
Thank you Man Above for letting what is good & just be done. Brothers & sisters of our many people across Turtle Island, our prayers have been answered in this situation. I hope this school has also changed this very bad policy & seen the error of their ways. If this lesson has been learned then our complete goal has been accomplished for the good of all. Great Spirit, I am so very thankful for You setting things right, opening hearts & healing blind eyes to see the harm they have done. We are so thankful for Your Army of Light as it goes throughout Your creation sending the Evil One & his army of darkness fleeing. No victory can be had unless the Creator & his warriors of Light lead the fight. Blessings & peace to all who are living in a good way...................