LI Students Resist Graduation Gown Change


Get the best. Get Fios. SOME LONG ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE STAGING A WALKOUT OVER A CHANGE IN THEIR GRADUATION GOWN COLORS. BUT THIS YEAR STUDENTS WEARING THE SAME COLOR GOWN AND THEY ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. CBS 2’S JENNIFER McLOGAN HAS THE STORY. Reporter: WILL IT BE A CLASS DIVIDED FOR THE 585 SENIORS GRADUATING IN JUNE FROM THE RESPECTED WARD MELVILLE HIGH SCHOOL IN EAST SETAUKET? THIS PAST WEEK IS CHAOS. THERE’S BEEN PROTESTS EVERY DAY. Reporter: CELEBRATING ITS 50th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR THE SCHOOL WILL BUCK TRADITION DEPARTING FROM GREEN ROBES FOR YOUNG MEN AND GOLD FOR YOUNG WOMEN ALL STUDENTS WILL WEAR THE SAME. A GREEN GOWN WITH GOLD STOLE BEARING THE HIGH SCHOOL EMBLEM IN AN EFFORT TO UPHOLD THE RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER STUDENTS. RIGHT NOW THE SCHOOL IS KIND OF CLEARLY DIVIDED. IT’S JUST A TRADITION AND THERE’S NO HATE. THERE’S NO — I’M ALL ABOUT INCLUSION. Reporter: ONLINE PETITIONS ARE CIRCULATING ON BOTH SIDES. THE DECISION BY WARD MELVILLE TO GO TO ONE GOWN IS AN EXTREMELY POSITIVE STEP FORWARD. IT MAKES GRADUATION INCLUSIVE AND SAFE AND EQUAL FOR ALL STUDENTS. THE HIGH SCHOOL HAS ALWAYS PRIDED ITSELF IN BEING A PROGRESSIVE AND OPEN-MINDED SCHOOL COMMUNITY. I READILY ADMIT THAT THE ROLLOUT OF THE CHANGE WAS NOT DONE WELL AT ALL. AND FOR THAT, I OFFER YOU MY SINCERE APOLOGIES. Reporter: WILL THE GOLD AND GREEN SENIOR PHOTOS BE REJECTED BY THE YEARBOOK? PARENTS PAID MONEY FOR THE CAP AND GOWNS. UM, AND THEY DON’T KNOW IF THEY ARE GOING TO GET IT BACK $400. Reporter: SOME STUDENTS SAY THEY WANTED TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THEIR PARENTS AND SIBLINGS. DREAM OF MINE MY WHOLE LIFE THAT I GO THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL TO GRADUATE THE SAME WAY THEY HAVE. WE PROPOSE MANY SOLUTIONS TO KEEP THE GREEN AND GOLD TRADITION WITHOUT TRYING TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. Reporter: SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION DIDN’T SET THE POLICY. INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS WERE HELD WITH SOME STUDENTS LAST YEAR

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