Graduation Gowns for Inclusion

This is an article from earlier this year that had caught my eye when it first surfaced.  This article deals with a high school’s decision to change the color of the gowns worn by students at graduation.  Traditionally, male students would wear green gowns and female students would wear gold.  A decision by the administration had been made in the middle of the year to change this tradition so that everyone would wear the same color gowns, green with a gold stole.  This decision was made to foster a more inclusive environment for transgender students.  This decision sparked major debate on both sides, many arguing against the change from tradition and others arguing for the inclusive environment for transgender students.  It is noted that the main argument against this change has to do with tradition and not anti-transgender students.

This article caught my attention because this was the high school that I graduated from back in 2009.  Moreover, this article shows, in part, how teens react to attempts to make an environment more inclusive to transgender students, and to a change in longstanding tradition.

This article tells how the students of this high school react to change whether in a positive and negative way, and the actions that they take.  The students who were against this change of the graduation gowns took actions that are becoming the norm for social change, online petitions.  On the other side, this article shows how some students are in favor of being more open and accommodating towards students who identify as transgender.

The idea of fostering an inclusive environment is becoming increasingly more important in recent years.  Similarly, the idea of petitioning for and against changes has been on the rise.  The public libraries are the best place to help foster this kind of environment and this type of social action.  One of the best ways that library can help do so is by offering materials that deal with these topics with the target audience being teens and young adults.  Libraries are known to have displays of young adult books that deal with LGBTQ themes as part of Pride Month.  As the public library itself is considered a “safe space,” the library can also offer programming where students can discuss these types of issues, some libraries probably already do so.  What is important is that libraries continue to allow teens and young adults to feel comfortable to express themselves as individuals, and as people with opinions.

 

 

Tyrrell, J. (2017, March 02). Graduation gown change spurs walkout. Newsday.  Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/graduation-gown-change-ignites-petitions-student-walkout-1.13202021

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