"Insubordination" is considered a Level II violation. It's in the same category as gambling, gang activity, bullying or theft. "Insubordination" is defined as a student ignoring or disobeying a direction by a school authority. The policy lists not opening a book or refusing to work in a group as examples.
But some Board of Education members don't agree with Giles' punishment.
"This is like giving the death penalty for a parking ticket," school board President Pete Thaw said.
The incident is rather minor, in Thaw's opinion, and doesn't think the action warrants taking away the privilege of participating in graduation. Board member Becky Jordon said that she respects and "always defends" Giles, but that she can't get agree with him this time.
"I don't think that's enough for a child not to march," Jordon said.
Thaw was planning to speak with Superintendent Ron Duerring early this morning. Duerring has the power to overrule Giles, Thaw said.
Giles has been overruled in the past, he said. But he's never been overruled for being wrong, he said, and he doesn't expect Duerring will tell him such this time around.
"He's not going to say that because I'm right," Giles said, referencing Duerring. "He knows I'm right."
Board member Bill Raglin, who hadn't heard about the shirt incident, thinks Giles might have a point. He said no student has the right to disobey a principal.
"There has to be some price to pay for insubordination," Raglin said.
It's the end of the school year, he said, so that prevents other penalties like detention or suspension from being effective. If the issue had sprouted up in December, Raglin said keeping students from participating in graduation probably wouldn't have been discussed.
"I think the most important issue is that they were asked not to do it," Raglin said.
Some of the students involved are the "cream of the crop," Giles said. In addition to being class president, Moody is a high honors student, Promise scholar and an Eagle Scout who plans to study biology at Shepherd University. Past behavior shouldn't affect current discretions though, Giles said.
If you're speeding on your way to the hospital in order to see an injured relative and a police officer pulls you over, you're still going to get a ticket, he said.
In the past, Giles has reprimanded students for wearing flip-flops or for wearing matching T-shirts. He once sent home more than 70 people from a prom because he said they were dancing inappropriately. He said this case reminded him of the dirty dancing and T-shirt issues: The dancing was inappropriate, and the students were wearing matching shirts to show who controlled the drug trade at a local housing project.
People won't see that side of the story though, he said. They'll see him kicking students out of graduation for a T-shirt.
He said he's tired of fighting. He doesn't want to prevent student creativity or keep students from expressing their right to free speech, but argues that a school is different from the real world.
Citing the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines School District Supreme Court ruling, he said students don't forfeit their rights when they walk in the door, but that conduct that goes against school policy cannot be tolerated.
He said the students choose to follow someone with an "immature" and "unfounded" agenda. In doing so, they disrespected him and everything he has worked for at Capital, he said.
Moody said he was insubordinate, and that it was a "bad thing" about the protest. He and another student plan to apologize to Giles for their insubordination this morning, he said, and "take the heat" for the rest of the students who participated.
In Giles' opinion, it's too little, too late.
"You can't spit in someone's face and then come back and say you're sorry," he said.
Moody said he didn't expect a $7 T-shirt would keep him from participating in graduation. If he's still not allowed to participate this evening though, he said some of the other families had talked about holding a private ceremony. They might pass out fake diplomas, he said.
Despite the penalty, Moody said he's received support from teachers, students and members of his community. If he had to do all over again, he said he wouldn't change a thing.
"No, I don't regret it," Moody said. "The support I've gotten for wearing it makes it totally worth it."