On Dec. 6, Mira Costa Principal Dr. Ben Dale, along with the Associated Student Body, organized a meeting during AM office hours in regard to changing the graduation cap and gowns to a singular color. This change is a positive step forward because it will allow students, no matter what gender they identify with, to feel safe and confident during graduation.
The topic of new graduation caps and gown colors came up when students felt that their gender did not conform to either green or gold, as they were either transitioning from one gender to another, or their identification was more complex than male or female, Dale said. Male graduates previously wore green caps and gowns, while female graduates wore yellow caps and gowns. Dale and the administration want to support all students, and having one color cap and gown is an easy adjustment to ensure that everyone is included, Dale said.
Having all graduates wear a single color cap and gown has become a common aspect of high school graduations, Dale said. This movement has been exhibited at schools across the nation, including locally at Redondo Union High School. Unified graduation gowns ensure that all students feel comfortable at graduation.
Costa wants to ensure that all students feel safe and inclusive, and having gender separation is not what the world is about anymore, said Dale. It is important that Dale and the rest of Costa respect and include students who do not identify with either cap and gown color and that our school step toward equality and inclusion for all, especially since our society is not as respectful to the LGBTQ community as it should be.
According to Dale, he hopes that this change will help the students who dread making the choice of having to wear green or gold, and he hopes it changes their lives knowing that their school was thinking of them. Dale also hopes that the students know that Costa tried taking that unnecessary stress away because there are more prominent issues to worry about than this. This is helpful to those students because it does not make students worry about the color they will choose.
According to Dale, it is unclear if the colors chosen for this year will be the same as for future years. Future seniors may have the opportunity to vote for the color that their grade wants, according to Dale. Thus, future graduates can choose which color they want and have the freedom to choose what they are comfortable with.
There have been recent posts on Facebook from Costa parents lashing out against the change in cap and gown colors. Although this change may be seen as a break in tradition that has been so strongly built and identified in our society, it is an important action in order to ensure that we are being respectful of our fellow students. The opposition to this scenario is not uncommon but it shows how much of a prominent topic it is and how it greatly affects students.
Dale and the administration’s support toward this subject is extremely important and welcoming, which is important for the LGBTQ community at our school.