On Friday, Jan. 10, Royal Palm Beach High School seniors voted to keep a two-color cap and gown commencement ceremony. The color selections, however, will no longer be based on gender. Graduating seniors will now select the color of their choice, silver or black, on a first-come, first-served basis.
The cap and gown color for RPBHS commencement ceremonies for the last 15 years have featured girls wearing silver and boys wearing black. While school administration has always allowed individual students to wear the color of their choice, gender has been at the forefront of the decision making.
“Royal Palm Beach High School’s Vision of Excellence calls for us to maintain a socially just environment,” Principal Dr. Jesús Armas said. “In keeping with that, and because our administrators have always been sensitive to gender self-identification, we have never taken a hard stance on color choice, thereby denying students from selecting their colors. However, we do recognize that not all of our students are completely at ease with this decision-making process and decided that we should seek alternative ways to determine cap and gown colors.”
School administration decided to give seniors a choice. Armas met with graduating seniors and informed them that as a new “Senior Privilege,” each graduating class from this year forward will decide what colors will be used at its commencement ceremony. Seniors had a choice of having one gown color (black or teal) or two gown colors (silver and black). Once the decision was made to have two colors, seniors had the choice of having colors assigned alphabetically or having them select their color of choice.