Dover Graduation Gowns Go Gender-Neutral
This year, graduates will wear green robes instead of females wearing white and males wearing green.
Dover High School Principal Peter Driscoll announced the change this week in an e-mail to parents.
Principal Driscoll acknowledged that a similar change has already occurred at other area schools. The Oyster River, Portsmouth and Rochester school districts have similar gender non-conforming policies.
According to an article at Fosters.com, Driscoll says in the e-mail:
"The change to a gender-neutral single color ensures that transgender or gender nonconforming students to do not have to choose which is the 'best' color for them and eliminates the anxiety and awkwardness that is caused when they are forced to wear a gown that labels them differently than how they identify."
As you might imagine, there are many in the community that aren't happy with the change.
In fact there is a petition protesting the change that has close to 400 supporters. The petition reads as follows.
"For many years, seniors at Dover High School have worn green and white gowns on the day of graduation. This year, 2017, the school has taken that privilege away. ...; The seniors at Dover High would like to keep the tradition of girls wearing white gowns while the boys would wear the green. However, we believe it would be fair to give the students who are undecided with which gown color appropriately fits them best the option to decide the color of their gown on graduation day"
You might remember last year when Beth Ricci from Portsmouth had her home vandalized after she spoke out against the change when Portsmouth announced the school would be changing.