Should Seniors Be Able To Decorate Their Graduation Caps?

By: Mary Kerr/ Social Media Director

Every High School senior class works so hard to achieve their goals and reach that one important day: graduation day. All your life you have been waiting for this day, to receive your diploma, and finally gain some freedom to go on and do as you wish. High school prepares us for life outside of it, and as we grow up we experience many different situations, difficulties, successes, emotions, and we make memories all on the way. Graduation day is definitely the day where all of these feelings and memories hit you at once. Yet, what if you wanted to express your memories and feelings on your graduation day, in a physical representation, but couldn’t?

In today’s society, a lot of public and private schools are starting to allow their students to decorate their graduation caps. For example, students will put appropriate meanings or messages on their mortarboard, as a way to encapsulate and represent their childhood and teenage years. Many schools in our area have started to allow their graduating classes to do so (Mountain View Jr/Sr High School, Montrose Area High School and Susquehanna Community High School). Yet, the School Board of Blue Ridge School District doesn’t allow seniors to decorate theirs. A lot of the seniors from this year’s graduating class have been vocal about decorating their graduation caps and putting in the efforts to change the school board policy.

High School Senior, Megan Sommer, says “I think people should have the option to decorate their graduation cap.” When asked about her view on the board’s policy, Sommer says “I guess times change and it would be nice to have individuality.”

The purpose of decorating a mortarboard for graduation day is to represent yourself, by placing symbolic figures and/or quotes onto it. Many students also represent what they will be doing after high school on their caps, which helps the students show their pride and excitement for their future. By decorating your graduation cap, you are allowed to appropriately express yourself and all of your hard work, into a beautiful display that can be photographed and seen.

Some Blue Ridge seniors, including myself have spoke about trying to change the board’s rule. We think that, seniors should be able to appropriately decorate their graduation cap. For this to go smoothly, we think that a deadline has to be set with a plan on how the cap is going to look, and it must be approved by the administration. After this deadline, there should be a deadline before graduation day, where your physical decorated cap gets approved, that way if someone were to change their plan to something inappropriate, it could be disapproved before graduation day. We also think that since you purchase your graduation caps and gowns, that if you decorate your cap and if it were to get disapproved, you are required to buy a new cap. In regards to if a student with a disapproved cap could try to redecorate it and apply for re-approval, would be decided by the board. The caps should also be approved graduation day, and if anyone changed theirs, or if there is any inappropriate language, messages, symbols or images on the cap on graduation day, that graduate can not walk on stage with their graduating class or receive their diploma on stage. By proposing these strict rules, I think that the senior class should be able to decorate their graduation caps, respectfully. A group of seniors plans to attend the school board meeting, October 1st, 2018 at 7:00 pm. There, we will propose our ideas and plans for graduating seniors to appropriately represent themselves by decorating their graduation caps. If you or someone else would like to join the group going to the meeting, contact myself, Belle Morris or Annie Bonner.

Mary Kerr is a senior at Blue Ridge High School. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and participating in many clubs and leadership opportunities. Mary is the secretary of National Honor’s Society and Student Council. She hopes to continue studying, majoring in biology and ultimately becoming a dentist in the future.