One Less Tradition

Cap and gown changes have been made to promote inclusivity in OUHSD

For years, on graduation day in the Oxnard Union High School District, seniors from all schools show their school colors by having the females wear one solid color, and the males another school color. This would not only look aesthetically pleasing, but it would exhibit school pride by representing their school colors. Early in the school year, regulations changed and from now on, all students will be wearing one solid school color at graduation.


This change is primarily due to some students feeling that they were being misrepresented wearing a certain color. With many issues concerning inclusivity in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ+) community arising, the OUHSD believed that requiring all graduates to wear the same cap and gown color was the best protocol concerning the issue. This ensures that students are equally represented and not afraid to prove something to other classmates, family, and friends.


Oxnard High School Principal Richard Urias said, “We feel like with one color it doesn’t really affect the ceremony, […] If it makes six or seven students feel more comfortable, then we’re okay with it.”


Another reason for the sudden change for graduation gowns was the new perspectives on the OUHSD Board of Trustees. Mr. Urias said that the superintendent of the board and Dr. McCoy were being questioned about the traditional graduation attire. “People were asking why we have the two colors separating the boys and the girls,” said Mr. Urias.


Other districts have only one solid color, and this brought the idea to create inclusivity by switching OUHSD tradition of two colors for graduation gowns to only one color. OHS senior Jose Jalteco said, “I don’t agree that we should switch to one color, but if it makes people feel more comfortable then I think that’s okay.”


Despite the positivity that the district believes this will bring, OHS students feel they should be able to wear the two colors for graduation. On a recent Twitter poll, 86% of students voted yes to wear two separate colors while 14% voted on only wearing cardinal.


OHS senior Daniel Rivera said, “I would much rather prefer having two colors because with one color it’s too plain. Graduation is supposed to be festive because we’re celebrating four years of hard work. We wear cardinal and gold for sports, band, clubs and other extracurricular activities, why can’t we show that pride at graduation?”


This change at Oxnard High is the beginning of a new tradition. Although this won’t fulfill everyone’s expectations, it is the start of an inclusive environment.