HOLLY RIDGE, N.C. (WNCT) – As the end of the school year approaches, so do graduation ceremonies.

However, there are some issues for three Boy Scouts graduating out of Onslow County. Christian Toney, Dylan Minervini, and Ronald Bowman are seniors, graduating in just a few weeks from Dixon High School. All three were eager to wear their Boy Scout cords while receiving their diplomas until Dixon High School told them they couldn’t.

“Our Dixon High School policy is love, serve, and care. They want us to be good model citizens. and by doing our Eagle project, we have to do it for the community,” said Bowman. “So we were helping the citizens, helping the community.”

Left to right: Christian Toney, Dylan Minervini, and Ronald Bowman (Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

Onslow County Schools officials said the decision on which honor cords are allowed is a school-based decision.  Some schools in the county don’t have a limit on the cords that can be worn while others, like Dixon, do.

“I really want to wear the cords because it shows the dedication, the progress and the hard work that we’ve put in for pretty much almost our entire lives to get to this point,” said Minervini. “So just to walk across the stage with something as simple as a chord will mean a lot to us.”

The Boy Scouts complete various volunteer projects throughout the community and even at their schools. Dixon High School has previously allowed Boy Scouts to wear their cords.

“Honestly, I feel pretty sad because some of my best friends got to do it,” said Toney.

The Dixon High School leadership team discussed whether or not outside organization cords would be allowed, and they decided against it this year.

“I have a school telling him that he can’t walk across the stage with his cords, but I’m welcome to carry them in my purse and he can put them on afterwards so we can take pictures, or they can put them in their pockets and hide this positive impact that they’ve done on the community,” said Teresa Toney, Christian’s mother.

The boys hope the school will change its mind on allowing them to walk across the stage with their cords. Regardless of the outcome, they are proud of their hard work over the years.

The school system added during the ceremony, a slideshow will highlight the student’s accomplishments, like Boy Scouts, when receiving their diplomas.

On Saturday, Dixon High School posted this notice on its Facebook page from the principal.

May 27, 2023

Good Afternoon Dixon Families,

High School Graduation is an important time that we use to celebrate the academic accomplishments and awards of our seniors. For our graduation ceremony, we ask all our graduates to share their various awards, scholarships, and future plans with our counseling department. These are acknowledged in a PowerPoint slide that is projected at graduation when their name is called to walk across the stage.

Graduation attire is focused on the graduates’ school-based accolades, and, as such, is limited to the designated cap and gown and cords awarded from DHS. Many different students have asked if they can wear non-school related pins, cords, flags, or other items celebrating awards, accomplishments and heritage during graduation. While these are certainly all things to celebrate, we have been consistent in handling these requests at DHS and are in line with how similar requests have been addressed at many of the other high schools in the district.

Our School Leadership Team recently considered the request to allow Eagle Scouts to wear their Eagle Scout cords to graduation. Three adult Eagle Scouts, all staff members at Dixon High School, were part of that meeting. Following discussion on the request, our School Leadership Team unanimously decided in favor of consistency and limiting the graduation regalia to school awarded attire.

The faculty and staff of Dixon High School support and celebrate the good work organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America do with our youth. We need more organizations that instill the ideals of character, leadership, and service into our young people, and there is a time for celebrating them. However, the DHS graduation ceremony is intended to celebrate the culmination of our graduates’ academic accomplishments.


Curtis Ehmann,

Principal of Dixon High School