Graduation Cap Issue Pits Class of 2017 vs. Tradition

Official Editorial Endorsed by Warrior Ink Staff


Angel Arno and Abigail Smith

Here at Indian River, we take education and graduating very seriously–some say, a little TOO seriously.

At the moment our Board of Education is about to be presented with a petition to allow Seniors to decorate their graduation caps. According to the high school administration, it is currently prohibited to decorate your graduation cap; long-standing tradition for IRHS graduates is to have plain caps.

It’s fair to say that this policy has caused an uproar in the Senior class. 

Logan Infantine started the petition, stating that “We, the undersigned, petition the Board to approve the class of  2017 to decorate their caps for graduation.” Many others, like class President Alex Ruiz have signed. By making a petition like this we exercise our rights to free expression to the Board of Education, standing up for what we believe in. Many seniors have started to sign the petition stating we want to decorate our caps. Those who started it are still welcoming signatures–over 100 so far.

We would like to have the privilege to decorate our caps, since it’s our last and final memory of High School with our friends, and our families watching. We have an opportunity to show how proud we are to be a part of Indian River High School.

We would like to simply express our enthusiasm for a place where they accept us for who we all are, and to be who we want to be. Not being able to express our culture and love for our favorite activities like sports, colleges and future plans is going against that culture.  The decorations would likely be a sea of school spirit and positive thoughts.

Indian River High School always tells us students in the beginning of a new school year that we should be who we want to be, and the teachers and administration will accept us for who we are. If Indian River accepts us for who we are then they should allow us to show ourselves to everyone and our amazing personalities. Indian River has so many amazing, and talented students here and we should be able to share that one last memory and opportunity with everyone up on the stage.

By giving us the right to express our freedom will not only make everyone happier, but will make students believe that Indian River respects our decisions as young adults. We are told to make adult decisions such as picking a college to go to, what we have to major in, who we need to become, and what jobs we want. So the Board of Education, which is sending us out into the world, should trust us to pick a quote or decoration on our senior caps.

We are trying to make light of our last final moments of being a Warrior. Not to mention, seniors paid money for our own caps, and yet we are told that we can not do what we want with them.

Another faction of seniors has appealed directly to teachers for their support on this issue. One of them is Samantha Eppley, who made a permission slip for seniors and their parents to sign and agree to, with the requirements for the caps spelled out.  This “middle ground” idea may help, as the IRHS administration will then have a set of guidelines already made.

Many senior students agree with the idea that “Indian River students should be allowed to decorate our graduation caps,” said Daniella Pimpinella. Allowing the decoration will take on a whole new meaning to Indian River, by trusting us seniors to make good decisions. If you would like to sign the petition, please get a hold of one of the class officers to be a part of the fight to the right to express our last final moments as Indian River seniors.

[Ed. Note- This article was originally published briefly on 4/6; it has since been corrected and updated.]