Graduation marks the time of the year when seniors can finally say goodbye, and tests, quizzes, and mounds of homework can be tossed out the window. Around the world, students take off their caps and toss them as high as they can in the air when they hear the sweet “congratulations” that they are officially done with high school.
Unfortunately, students here face consequences for participating in this final senior moment: no high school diploma.
To ensure that students still abide by the administration’s rules even after graduating, the school gives students a fake diploma when they cross the stage, and gives them their actual diploma after graduation. Throw cap=no diploma.
The rule to not allow students to throw their caps in the air is not just at Wootton, but is a rule across Montgomery County. “It’s a solemn event, and the school likes to keep it that way. Plus we want to get all the kids out when they get their diplomas as quick as possible,” eleventh grade administrator Joseph Du Boyce said.
The caps cost around $15, so to have a lot of them ruined every year could be a hefty price for the school to pay. Also, there’s an extremely high percentage chance that a cap could hit a student on the head too hard and they’d suffer an injury.
That being said, there are plenty of reasons why students should be allowed to throw their caps in the air if they so please. For starters, students should be allowed to make decisions on their own without teachers who they likely won’t see ever again telling them what to do.
Students have been abiding by the schools rules for 13 years. Freedom is restricted in schools to the point where one can’t even use the bathroom without asking for permission in most classes. Finally, freedom is in the air, but if you throw that cap in the air to celebrate, then you’ll be punished. “I don’t think we should be punished for throwing our caps in the air. If we want to, then we should be able to,” senior Isabella Oliva said.
The 15-30 minute cleanup of the caps all being thrown in the air after is too much for the school to deal with as over 500 students get ready to celebrate and start the beginning of their new lives out of high school. For some, throwing the caps in the air will relieve themselves of all the stress and work they put in during their time at school. For others, the real diploma given when exchanging their graduation outfits will do the same. The decision to throw or not to throw the cap in the air will signify the end of a long journey, and the start of a whole other one.