A change of tradition has a lot of people talking in Stafford.
This year graduating seniors will all wear the same color cap and gown. The decision is part of an effort to be more gender neutral.
“We really fought for what we wanted and we got to choose ,” explained graduating senior Katherine Hoss.
The graduation day cap and gown discussion started two years ago at Stafford High School.
“We started questions about whether we were going to wear blue and white or just one color,” Hoss said.
Hoss and her fellow 2017 grads were the first class to question the tradition of gender-specific graduation gowns and caps. Traditionally female students wore white, and male students wore blue.
“It was mostly just tradition and their parents a lot of them graduated in white and blue and they wanted to graduate just like them,” Hoss said.
While Hoss says initially there was division, her class came to the decision that students be allowed to individually choose what color gown they wanted to wear on graduation day.
“It ended up bringing us all together as a class,” she said.
On Monday yet another change for the high school's graduation gowns and caps… the Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of gender-neutral gowns. All members of the Class of 2019 will now wear blue gowns and caps with white stoles.
Stafford Public Schools Superintendent saying quote: "It is paramount that all students are comfortable in participating in the ceremony and a decision to have a single gown option is a sign of unity and inclusion."
“I think it's wonderful to have a neutral color…and not let it be discriminatory against anyone,” said Stafford Springs resident Kim Vokat.
Hoss says the decision reflects an improvement in dialogue about gender in Stafford, and a tip of the cap toward gender identity inclusion.
“I think there's been a lot of talk and a lot more acceptance throughout our town,” Hoss said.