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The Glen Echo

Why I want to wear white at my graduation

by Christine Nappi, Copy Editor

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At graduation this June, the tradition of boys wearing red and girls wearing white will be broken, for all students will be wearing a red cap and gown.

Girls wearing white has been a tradition ever since the first class graduating class of 1959, and many students are enraged that it’s changing.

There are many reasons that the administration has decided to do this. For one, the singular color is more gender neutral and will eliminate discrepancies of separating colors based off of gender.

But, when did wearing red or white define who we are?

The original tradition of wearing a color based off your gender is flawed, but making all students wear one color is not the solution to this. I applaud the school in their attempt to create a more accepting community, but this isn’t the approach that should be taken. Students should be able to wear the color they want regardless of their gender.

If a student associates themselves with the opposite gender, they should be able to wear either color accordingly. Even if a student doesn’t associate with a certain gender, they should be able to wear the color they desire. If a guy wants to wear white at graduation he should be able to, and if a girl wants to wear red, then allow it. But if I want to follow the tradition and wear white at my one and only high school graduation, I should be able to. I have seen class after class receive diplomas in the elegant, white cap and gowns, and I have been looking forward to it. But now my chances of ever getting to do that are gone.

In a sense, it’s ironic that we all have to conform and wear the same color. Another reason why the administration has decided to do this is so the senior class is “united.” But how does wearing the same color unite us in any way? It merely creates a facade that we are united. By this statement, I’m not saying that the senior class is divided. We are already united, but at the same time we are all unique, different and diverse, and that is what I love about the school.

Throughout our education in Glen Rock, we have been taught that diversity is a good thing, and it helps us learn. Most importantly, our differences make us who we are. The red and white gowns demonstrate that we are a unique community, and we should not be discouraged from being ourselves by wanting to wear a certain color.

With all our differences, we have learned to accept each other for who we are, and that’s what makes us united- not some silly color.

I understand that red is one of our school colors, but so is white. Not to exaggerate, but having the girls conform to wearing the color the guys would previously wear feels like a slap in the face. The girls now have to conform to men once again, which is something I thought our society was past. All throughout history and up to today, women have had to fight for their rights. Like many women, I have been taught to be independent and stand up for myself, and wearing red defeats that. In a way, having to wear red is demeaning to us girls because we feel as if we are being told to conform to the more “dominant” species. This not only contradicts the lessons that need to be taught for girls to be strong and independent, but it weakens our self-esteem. I understand this argument is more extreme than the rest because red is simply a school color, but it prompts me further to fight for my right to wear white.

I also already paid for my senior portrait in a white cap and gown so there goes that.

14 Comments

14 Responses to “Why I want to wear white at my graduation”

  1. Jennifer Begg on December 6th, 2017 8:45 am

    Well said Christine!

    [Reply]

  2. Mary Lange on December 6th, 2017 11:40 am

    Ridiculous! Well said and written!

    [Reply]

  3. Matthew Alport on December 6th, 2017 12:57 pm

    Very well written! Congrats to you

    [Reply]

  4. kyle fisher on December 6th, 2017 1:15 pm

    great article. The class advisers are also changing the location for prom from a traditional prom venue to an arcade type place…..to the administration— let the students vote before you kill traditions, because i guarantee if these two issues were voted on, neither change would have passed…

    [Reply]

    Laura Nogara Reply:

    Couldn’t of said it better, tradition is tradition and it is awful that for our class, it is being broken without our input. If we all had a say, I am 110% sure the majority of our class would have not wanted either of these things to occur.

    [Reply]

    Maryellen Carrillo Reply:

    I agree with Kyle Fisher. The graduation and the prom belong to the students. They should have weighed in on these topics. A prom… At an Arcade?

    [Reply]

    Kathleen walter Reply:

    People were asked to visit venues in June . No one went. People were asked to visit venues this fall no one went—- please visits a venue and get back to me, or ask your elected representatives to visit new venues. No decisions are made without input but no one showed up. Please come help. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you in my classroom at lunch on Friday to discuss this and make arrangements for the venue. Thank you for volunteering Kyle.

    [Reply]

    kyle fisher Reply:

    simple solution, just let the students vote….

    [Reply]

  5. Annmarie Graziano on December 6th, 2017 2:42 pm

    Very well written Christine… I agree with you 100%… ridiculous that the administration should make this decision on their own without the student body input… shame on them.

    [Reply]

  6. Olivia Lorenzo on December 6th, 2017 6:54 pm

    Go Christine! Very well said!

    [Reply]

  7. Diane Hirschberg on December 7th, 2017 11:28 am

    Very well stated. The points were well made. Why is the proposed solution of the girls wearing colors traditionally worn by boys the answer?

    [Reply]

  8. Elizabeth on December 7th, 2017 12:23 pm

    Just curious as to who chose this venue and why not just stick to the places they went to in the past?

    [Reply]

  9. Caroline Geoghegan on December 7th, 2017 1:21 pm

    I’m sorry Christine, but I have to respectfully disagree with you. GRHS students should not wear white OR red on their graduation day. They should all be wearing Schoology Blue™.

    [Reply]

  10. Mary Harrison on December 7th, 2017 7:17 pm

    Once again young women are being shown that their opinion does not matter and policy is set without their input. With everything that is going on in the news today it is a poor example for the administration to show their student body. Change is not transformative without consensus. GRHS students are smart and open minded individuals and capable of coming up with a solution to a problem (if there is one) on their own. Shameful that this was done in a autocratic manner and a celebratory day has been tarnished. I hope that the administration is busy working on getting the girls graduation photos retaken for free. The current photos are not reflective of the day and are extremely expensive. Would it have been smarter to start this discussion for next year’s class?
    Great letter Christine! Keep standing up for yourself!

    [Reply]

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Why I want to wear white at my graduation