Change In Graduation Tradition Receives Split Response

Change In Graduation Tradition Receives Split Response

For years, graduation gowns at Leominster High School – and other schools around the nation,  have been known as gendered.

Boys get blue gowns, while girls get white ones. What about those who don’t identify with either gender?

The Class of 2023 had the opportunity to vote whether they wanted to keep the traditional blue and white gowns or stick to all blue for every student.

A survey showed most seniors did not have a preference, followed by seniors who voted to keep using the traditional blue and white gowns.

One month later, LHS Principal Dr. Joshua Romano sent an email to all seniors stating “I apologize for the back and forth issue on the caps and gowns, but it has been reinforced to me, from LHS students and from my colleagues at other schools, how problematic it is to have gendered gowns today. Ultimately I must ensure that, like a medical doctor, I do no harm to the people in my charge. My conversations with students, colleagues, and other people I trust have convinced me that the potential harm of continuing to use gendered gowns outweighs the need and momentum of tradition. We need to be on the right side of this, which is to say on the side that values inclusivity and unity for the entire school population. The Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment, supports the discontinuation of gendered policies and practices. It is time for LHS to move forward as well.”

The sudden change brought mixed feelings amongst the seniors.

Some were fine with the change because they wanted to wear blue anyways.

Others such as CTEi Senior Yanina Cambero felt as if “It really isn’t something so controversial. Rather than it being gendered gowns, it would be most ideal to just let us pick our colors. Instead of ‘male or female’ just have it ‘blue or white.’ This entire thing was unnecessary and a sudden change.”

Lots of students have their own personal opinions of this topic. 

Some students became upset because when Dr.  Romano sent out a google form for  seniors to decide whether we wanted to keep the tradition or hop on “the wave” of the twenty first century. We were expecting to be heard. But many feel that was not the case.

A tradition of 60 years is now coming to end. Leominster High School will be wearing all blue caps and gowns on June 3rd, 2023.

Last year’s Graduation, with students in Blue and White