GHS promotes unity with cap and gown color change


Cape Ann TV

Class of 2017


In an effort to promote a more inclusive ceremony,  all seniors will wear the same color caps and gowns at graduation this year.  This represents a change from the long standing tradition of girls wearing white and boys wearing crimson.  

“Moving to a shared gown for all student stems from two major motivations,” said GHS Principal James Cook. “To benefit students for whom issues of gender identity made the old way of doing graduation difficult, and by having one gown for all students graduation can more accurately reflect the reality of student life at Gloucester High School – integrated regardless of gender.”

According to Cook, “the separation between genders created turmoil, conflict, and difficulty for some students and we want to make sure graduation is a celebration for everyone that has met the requirements without having to worry about gender.”

The new design will be all white, with a crimson accent on the sleeve and the same crimson and white tassel used in past years.  Students will also be sitting together alphabetically and not be separated by gender.

Cook was clear that he wanted “student leaders to have the voice.” 

“The class of 2018 officers and the student council executive board were asked to have a meeting with Principal Cook about the issue,” said Executive Board Vice President Caroline Enos. “ We decided as a group how the new design will look, and how to best communicate the change to our peers so that everyone understands that this is about unity, and allowing everyone to celebrate their accomplishments equally.”

Prior to the discussion many students were frustrated in the wake of a sudden change of traditions.

“I was anxious to know the truth behind the rumors and upset that the color was being changed to maroon without any regards to the students’ opinions or feelings,” said Executive Board President Gabriella Machado.

Following the meeting that promised student leaders a voice, many of these nerves were put at ease.

“After the board meeting I felt reassured about the cap and gown color change. I learned that making all of the gowns maroon was just a rumor and that was never an official plan. Principal Cook was very willing to compromise with us and we decided on a white gown with maroon accent,” said Machado. “I appreciate the compromise and I understand the reasoning in changing this tradition.”