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The Student News Site of Findlay High School

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The Student News Site of Findlay High School

Blue & Gold

Graduation expectations

Graduation is quickly approaching and with this comes the list of expectations and requirements for seniors to be able to graduate, as well as walk and receive their diploma at graduation. However, some of the traditions are showing their age.

Early in the month of April, Findlay High School sent out a letter to all graduating seniors’ parents that detailed information about graduation, dates that are important leading up to graduation, obtaining cap and gown now that pick-up has passed, and more. This letter includes a dress code for commencement.

While the majority of the dress code is pretty standard as graduation is a formal event, the school prohibits students from wearing tennis shoes with the threat of not being allowed to proceed with the graduation ceremony. For many students, this is an annoying rule.

“I really just want to wear my Converse,” senior Zoe Sleasman said.

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Typical tennis shoes, like running shoes, are understandably prohibited, as they are seen as a casual item, but many students utilize other tennis shoes, like Converse or Vans, to be “dress” shoes that are more comfortable.

“I believe that graduation is a formal and professional event so having a specific dress code is understandable,” senior Molly Crates said. “While some of the requirements are very restrictive, I think having a strict dress code seems reasonable for the huge milestone of graduation for all students and the school as a whole.”

At the senior meeting on April 25, students were only told explicitly not to wear flip flops, and when administration was asked if students could wear tennis shoes, Mr. Laux approved of the footwear given that it is a nicer pair of tennis shoes. He also said that they would prefer people wear formal attire, but if they want to wear tennis shoes that is fine.

Many schools permit students to decorate their graduation caps, wear custom tassels, or other self-expressive things during their graduation ceremonies. Findlay, however, explicitly states within the graduation dress code: “Please do NOT decorate any part of your graduation attire.”

For some students, and especially those who may have been looking forward to this tradition that many schools have, the restriction on allowance to decorate graduation caps is frustrating.

“Graduation is about the seniors, not administrators,” senior Jackson Zinna said. “I get it’s a formal event but that doesn’t give them the right to tell us how to dress for our celebration. Maybe they could suggest what to wear, but not allowing us to decorate caps is just plain ridiculous. There’s no harm in decorating your cap. I could understand putting restrictions [on it] like all caps have to be school appropriate, but completely eliminating it as an option is dumb.”

Others understand, especially with graduation being intended to be a more professional event.

“I think that decorating caps is a tradition at most high schools and I think it is a fun tradition that we do not partake in,” Crates stated. “I do understand the concerns that the school has about doing this.”

A longstanding tradition, although not a true dress code requirement, for female students is wearing a white dress under their graduation gown. While it is unclear when the tradition began, it is believed that white was worn as a sign of purity and new beginnings for female students.

“I’m all for getting dressed up and I enjoy wearing dresses, but I don’t always understand the tradition of wearing a white dress,” Sleasman commented.

Although this is not in the dress code, many female students may face direct or indirect pressure from their parents or friends to wear a white dress due to the tradition.

Ultimately, graduation is a day for the seniors. The dress code does provide some constraints, but there is still plenty of room for expressive freedom from students in what they choose to wear under their gown.

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About the Contributor
Holly Spitler
Holly Spitler, Editor in Chief
Holly Spitler, senior, is the Editor in Chief of the Blue & Gold Today for the 2023-2024 school year. This is her fourth year as a member of the B&G staff and third year as an editor. Her favorite part of the class is helping first year writers progress in their abilities and help them discover what they enjoy writing about. When she’s not in the classroom or editing stories, she’s usually at marching band rehearsal or listening to music. Her favorite music includes 80's glam rock, alternative rock, post-hardcore, or metalcore. Her favorite bands are Pierce The Veil, Sleeping with Sirens, and Motley Crue. 

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