WATERVILLE, Maine — Every member of the Class of 2016 will wear a purple gown at Waterville Senior High School’s graduation on June 9, according to an announcement on the school’s Facebook page.
In the past, girls have worn white gowns and boys have worn purple gowns, the school’s traditional two colors, according to information on Facebook.
The decision to move to “a gender neutral gown” was made Thursday during a senior class meeting, according to Acting Principal Brian Laramee. He posted the decision Thursday afternoon.
“The main reason for adopting a gender neutral gown was to ensure that all students graduating from WSHS are able to enjoy the graduation process,” Laramee said in the announcement. “I am very proud of our seniors for their willingness to put aside a long standing tradition in order to ensure that all WSHS graduates are able to participate and enjoy their graduation ceremony.”
He also said “the actions of the senior class demonstrate their beliefs and adherence to our school’s core values” of respect, openness, kindness, engagement and integrity.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, the post had garnered more than 300 likes, been shared 90 times and commented on 40 times. A majority of the commenters supported the decision.
It could not be determined late Friday afternoon how many high schools in Maine have different colored gowns for graduating boy and girls. Graduates of the University of Maine all wear blue gowns to the ceremony.