160.360. 1. The department of elementary and secondary education, with the cooperation of the Missouri veterans' commission, shall develop and administer a program to be known as "Operation Recognition". The purpose of the program is to award honorary high school diplomas to civilian prisoners of war (POWs) and to any veteran who left high school prior to graduation to enter United States military service. The department and commission shall jointly develop an application procedure, distribute applications and publicize the program to school districts, accredited nonpublic schools, veterans' organizations, and state, regional and local media.
2. All civilian POWs who are residents or former residents of the state of Missouri and all honorably discharged veterans who are residents or former residents of the state of Missouri, who served in the United States military and who did not return to school and complete their education after their term of service shall be eligible to receive an honorary diploma. Diplomas may be issued posthumously.
3. Upon approval of an application, the department shall issue an honorary high school diploma for an eligible civilian POW or an eligible veteran. The diploma shall also include a statement specifying that the diploma is awarded in recognition of military service experiences and civic duty responsibilities. The diploma shall indicate the civilian POW's or veteran's school of attendance. The department and commission shall work together to provide school districts, schools, communities and veterans' organizations with information about hosting a diploma ceremony on or around Veterans Day. The diploma shall be mailed to the civilian POW or veteran or, if the civilian POW or veteran is deceased, to the civilian POW's or veteran's family.
(L. 2001 H.B. 441, et al. § 160.341, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1515, A.L. 2003 S.B. 325)
Missouri General Assembly