Staff Editorial

Georgia Geen

Yes, graduation is a serious event,
latent with tradition. The monotony
of identical gowns is professional and
the ceremony has little room for jokes
or light-heartedness. But the central
focus of graduation, the senior class,
is being somewhat neglected; HHS seniors
should have the right to decorate
their graduation caps.
Walking across the stage and receiving
a diploma is the capstone of a
senior’s high school experience. While
faculty sit through the event each year,
students only feel the pressure of sitting
in the folding chairs of the Siegel
Center, wearing a blue or green graduation
gown, surrounded by family one
time. The appearance of the top of a
student’s graduation might seem trivial,
but to many students, the possibility
of decorating a cap gives the option to
symbolically carry much of their high
school experience with them at graduation.
Some fear that allowing seniors to
decorate the caps might result in an
overall tacky appearance of the event,
but this statement is highly subjective.
Plus, since the event is supposed
to revolve around the senior class,
shouldn’t their feedback and requests
be honored?
Groups of friends likely want to
coordinate decorations to honor their
companionship and spending an afternoon
customizing such an important
symbol of high school gives students
the opportunity to reflect on their time
at HHS in a way that can’t be easily
recreated. Students could more proudly
walk across the stage, reminded of
their accomplishments of high school
if they were permitted to customize
graduation caps.
Inappropriate messages are a topic
of concern, but caps are already
checked before the event. Telling a
student who abuses the privilege to
remove his or her cap before the ceremony
is a simple action. In addition,
the entire senior class shouldn’t be restricted
based on the immaturity of a
few individuals.
Two other Hanover County schools,
Lee-Davis High School and Atlee High
School, allow seniors to decorate their
caps for graduation, and HHS should
follow suit. If both of those schools
have been able to continue the practice
without notable incident, HHS is
no different.
Administrators should heed the
words of a petition started by HHS
senior Valerie Mitchell, reiterating
many of the opinions of the senior
class in regards to the prohibition of
graduation cap decoration. And all students
should sign the petition, including
those who aren’t seniors in order to
establish a tradition that can continue
on for years to come.
It’s obvious that offensive or inappropriate
images or language should
be omitted from decorations and administrators
have every right to monitor
what students include on the caps.
Monitoring them is a safe compromise
to maintain the appropriateness necessary
for such a formal event while also
allowing students to express themselves.
Mandating that all decorations
need to be completed by the June 9
graduation practice is another method
to ensure appropriateness. This gives
students adequate time to make any
necessary changes.
3/3 managing staff agree


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