Opinion: Seniors Should Be Able to Decorate Their Graduation Caps

Many seniors would like to express their individuality by decorating their graduation cap. This is currently prohibited by the school district.

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Many seniors would like to express their individuality by decorating their graduation cap. This is currently prohibited by the school district.

Zakiah Hollman, Guest Contributor

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Should seniors be allowed to decorate their graduation caps?  The past few days, I have asked seniors and teachers to see if they thought students this should be allowed. Everyone I interviewed seems to think that seniors should be able to.

When asking the students why they wanted to decorate their caps, the majority of them said, “because it is my last year in high school and I think that we should be able to express ourselves uniquely for graduation.” So why shouldn’t they be able to express themselves freely?

The district thinks that graduating seniors shouldn’t decorate their caps for two main reasons. One, the district feels that decorating caps could be an issue because students could put stuff on them that would offend other students and their families. The second reason is that decorating graduation caps doesn’t represent “unity” or “uniformity” as a school, and they don’t think that graduation is a place to express yourself.

Is self-expression really a bad thing? Isn’t that what we’re taught to do, to be ourselves? Decorating graduation caps shouldn’t be any different it because it has a symbolic meaning to people.

I asked a girl why decorating her cap was so important to her, and she gave me a real example using her sister’s graduation cap. The girl’s sisters’ cap said, “being the gifts that my ancestors gave.” She thought it was important because her sister’s graduation was the last time she saw her great-grandmother, who lived to be 103 yrs old before she passed away, and it was a way to express/represent her ancestors. The girl also said, “it was a great way to express thanks to our great-grandmother for birthing so many generations of women who have accomplished great things because of her.”

You wouldn’t think that a graduation cap can mean so much to someone but this is a clear example of how it can signify the loved ones who couldn’t be there with you.

The district shouldn’t deny seniors of their right to decorate their caps and to express themselves.