New policy could change cap and gown tradition at Woonsocket High School

By: Amanda Pitts


WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WLNE) – A new policy could go into effect at Woonsocket High School that would change the way students dress on graduation day.

The school committee is meeting Wednesday to finalize plans as a part of the district’s new transgender and gender non-conforming policy that would give seniors their own choice of color when it comes to their cap and gown.

School committee member Lynn Bouvier-Kapiskas told ABC6 that traditionally, Woonsocket students wore maroon and white. Maroon for male students, and white for female students. As soon as next year, that could change.

“So that everyone can feel comfortable on what for some will be the most important day of their lives.”

Bouvier-Kapiskas said the first draft of the policy had every student dressed alike in a maroon cap and gown with a white stole, but that resulted in backlash from students and parents.

The school subcommittee revisited the topic and decided to just let the students decide.

“It’s cool that you can choose the color because normally high schools don’t let you choose,” said student Rylee Coppinger.

Students we spoke to are grateful their LGBTQ classmates are being thought of.

“Not a lot of districts are like that, and it makes it more open for people to not have to be afraid of what they believe in. It makes so people who are not as open about how they feel gender-wise be able to choose what they want and not be super judged for it,” said student Brigette Whalen.

The policy has been approved among the subcommittee and will be brought to the full school committee Wednesday night.

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