One School, One Gown

Seniors+Will+Granatino+and+Allison+Irish+model+this+year%27s+graduation+gown.
Seniors Will Granatino and Allison Irish model this year's graduation gown.

Seniors Will Granatino and Allison Irish model this year's graduation gown.

Seniors Will Granatino and Allison Irish model this year's graduation gown.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This year, Scituate High School has decided to take progressive action to ensure that every student feels accepted as they receive their diploma. While SHS has previously gone the traditional route by having boys wear royal blue graduation gowns and girls wear white, this year’s graduating class has decided to change the gown to royal blue with a white sash for all graduates.

The change comes after a few years of discussion concerning the relationship between graduation gowns and gender identity. Students and staff began to notice that having to wear a graduation gown associated with a particular gender can be a very difficult situation for a student who may be facing gender identity issues.

SHS principal Robert Wargo said he has seen students struggle with gender-specific gowns, which “made us question even more about defining people based on the color of the robe.”

Senior Dani Tyrcha, president of SHS’s Gay Straight Alliance, explained that the original plan was to “have students choose whichever robe they wanted.” However, Wargo wanted everyone to wear the same gown to promote unity within the student body. Tyrcha said Wargo made the assumption “that people would just choose white if they were a girl and blue if they were a boy,” which was not the shift that he wished to see. If students stayed with the traditional colors when choosing, students with different gender identities would have been left in the same stressful situation as before.

Wargo is impressed with the Class of 2017’s willingness to incorporate the new gown, saying that “this class has been extremely courageous” to make the change.

Class secretary Julia Cuneo expressed her support and excitement for the robe change, saying, “I think it’s an important change that is overdue and I am happy that our class is making the SHS environment a more progressive and inclusive place.” Cuneo also emphasized the importance of this new precedent for future SHS classes: “It’s not just about our grade. It’s about making future classes and students feel comfortable.”

Student reaction was mixed when the new robe policy was announced. Some students embraced the change, while others were angry with the breaking of tradition. Most of the anger stemmed from the look of the robe, rather than the reasoning behind the unisex robe.

While the presence of students who were public with their gender identity contributed toward the change, Tyrcha wants people to remember there are definitely other students within the school who are either privately facing gender identity issues or potentially facing them in the future. Tyrcha noted that with a genderless gown, people whose gender identity may change in the future “can still look back on their graduation and not feel like they were kind of forced into this bubble that they might not necessarily belong to.”

When asked what this change means for the SHS community, Wargo said the change “confirms we are an accepting school.” He also clarified that “we’re not doing it just because it’s politically correct,” adding, “I think we’re doing it because it’s the right thing for students — whether that’s one student or ten students or 100 students or 220 students, it’s doing right by everybody.”

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • One School, One Gown

    Top Stories

    Miss Judy Made Fridays Even Sweeter at SHS

  • One School, One Gown

    Features

    The Power of People

  • One School, One Gown

    Features

    Teachers Who Started With Us: In Our Hearts 4ever

  • One School, One Gown

    Features

    Lesniak and Matisoff Bid Farewell to Senior Class

  • One School, One Gown

    News

    Superintendent Search Completed: A Follow-Up With Education Leaders

  • One School, One Gown

    Features

    Success After Scituate: Henry Lockwood’s Story

  • One School, One Gown

    Features

    Gay-Straight Alliance Sponsors SHS Showcase

  • One School, One Gown

    Entertainment

    Ron Griffin selected as the “fit” for Scituate Public Schools

  • One School, One Gown

    Sports & Wellness

    Teacher Appreciation Week Testimonial: The Power of Public Education

  • One School, One Gown

    News

    SHS Model UN Heads West

One School, One Gown