A principal at a New Jersey high school has scrapped a 50-year-old graduation tradition because it is “offensive” to students “whose identity is more fluid.”
Glen Rock High School is abandoning a 50-year-old graduation gown tradition over concerns that gender-based cap colors are offensive to students with a fluid gender identity. Principal John Arlotta said in a statement this week that the decision to get rid of gender-based graduation outfits is a step towards a more unified community.
“Times have changed in terms of gender equity,” said Principal John Arlotta on Wednesday. “It’s really meant to be a step toward unity.”
“Someone said it’s been that way since 1959. My answer is that it’s not 1959 anymore,” Arlotta added.
According to a local news report, Arlotta argued that gender-based colors for graduation caps might prove offensive to some students who identity is more fluid. This is “an effort to meet changing gender dynamics, particularly to be inclusive of those whose identity is more fluid, and for whom a color-coordinated identifier would prove complicated, if not offensive,” Arlotta said.
Some feminists at Glen Rock aren’t happy about the change, arguing that it is unfair that female students will be forced to wear the color that had traditionally been worn by male students. “The girls now have to conform to men once again, which is something I thought our society was past,” one student wrote in a column for the school’s newspaper.
She then said it would be preferable if each student could pick their own color. Me and my family “are fully in support of the LGBTQ+ community,” she added, before explaining that “Glen Rock High School has always been an accepting community. This is simply just a tradition that I and my fellow classmates were looking forward to.”
All students in the upcoming graduating class will wear red on commencement day.