Staff Editorial: Graduation Gown Choice Matters


Bridgette Lang

Sarah Jacobson and Bridgette Lang were among the young women of the Class of 2019 who wore blue instead of white.

Editorial Staff

Blue and white graduation gowns are back, hopefully for good.

As of the beginning of this school year, Southern Lehigh administration has reinstated two gown colors at graduation. Thanks to senior Rachel Kressler, who presented a proposal to the superintendent and advocated for the change, every student will now be able to choose either a blue or white gown for the graduation ceremony in 2020.

While it may seem like a small decision, the gown is a significant and symbolic part of graduation day for many students. Sure, it’s a piece of clothing that students will only wear once–but it’s a piece of clothing that represents over twelve years of education.

This decision overturns last year’s choice to only provide blue gowns at graduation. Up until the 2017-2018 school year, the school provided blue gowns for boys and white for girls.

However, last year this changed in an effort to be more inclusive, and all graduates were required to wear blue gowns. While the “blue gowns for boys and white gowns for girls” rule creates a tricky situation for nonbinary, transgender, or gender-nonconforming students, requiring all students to wear the same color is not the answer. Last year, many graduating seniors were frustrated with the decision. In particular, many girls who preferred the traditional white gowns felt like the school disregarded their opinions.

Therefore, having both colors available to everyone is the best option. By permitting seniors to choose between blue or white gowns, it allows for all students to feel like they have control and freedom. Now, any student can choose between white or blue, as it should be.

Graduation, after all, marks the first real step into adulthood. Students, as young adults and as graduates-to-be, should be able to make their own decisions regarding what they wear to the ceremony. Even if some people think it’s a trivial cause, having a choice is better than being denied one.