Family members share thoughts on recent Brookings graduation incident

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KJJQ) – The Brookings School Board uses a portion of last night’s meeting to discuss an incident at High School graduation.


Graduate Miles Livermont was initially told he could not wear an eagle feather attached to his mortorboard. However, state law now says Native American students may wear tribal regalia during public school graduation ceremonies.

When Livermont’s mother realized the feather was not being worn, she was able to attach it to the mortorboard and he participated with the feather attached.

Brookings School Superintendent Klint Willert apologized for the incident a few days later, saying the district honors and respects the significance of the sacred eagle feather and pledges to respect the law.

Tasi (Tah-shee) Barondeau (Buh-ron-doe) is Miles’ mother. She says a disservice was done and she wants to see action.

Barbara Miller is Miles’ grandmother. She says something was taken away from Miles.

School Board President Melissa Heermann expressed her regret and her commitment to make things better.

Heermann says there was no action last night because they need to hold policy discussions and make sure they put something lasting in place.