Decorating Caps? Would Turning the Tassel Be Worth All the Hassle?

With graduation quickly approaching the conversation about decorating graduation caps has once again arised.


Robyn Fancher

A teacher’s board where she decorates it to display all her past students who have given her graduation letters.

by Robyn Fancher, Reporter

At Central Kitsap High School, seniors aren’t able to decorate their graduation caps. With graduation quickly approaching and getting close, many seniors have talked about their wishes for the rules around decorating their caps to change. 

Decorating graduation caps fall into the added-on adornments that are not allowed during the graduation ceremony.

“I think especially for people who don’t have as many stoles or are in many clubs, then decorating caps would be a super fun way to express yourself during graduation,” Katy Topness, a member of ASB and a graduating senior said.

A blank graduation cap with tassels for the 2023 graduating seniors on the floor. (Robyn Fancher)

The current policy for graduation adornments is that only pre-approved graduation attire is allowed during the ceremony. This restricts the use of candy leis, necklaces, sashes, stoles, or other adornments.

Leis are only allowed if they are culturally significant, such as in some AAPI communities. Stoles and honor cords that are pre-approved CKHS awards are allowed. 

Many people have brought up the benefits of allowing the decoration of graduation caps. An article lists the pros and cons of decorating graduation caps.

“Not only would decorating graduation caps allow students to express themselves, but it would allow them to celebrate their achievements,” said Bailey Bennet. 

Despite the benefits of self-expression, a common argument is the lack of uniformity it would bring. According to Topness, the ASB talked about the concern of uniformity with Admin.

“We definitely talked about it this year in ASB, about the possibility of it,” Topness said. “But I think it’s not necessarily in our hands.” 

The “plans after high school” display in the library, used to recognize different seniors individually for their achievements. (Robyn Fancher)

Although there are many upset seniors who wish to decorate their caps, there were other seniors who weren’t made aware that they weren’t allowed to decorate their caps.

“I heard down the grapevine that we’re allowed to [decorate caps],” a senior this school year who wanted to remain anonymous said. “I know some of my friends who already started to decorate their caps, and so they got let down.” 

Most seniors seem to have really strong opinions about the rule. Most have said in interviews or in conversations that they don’t see the point of the requirement. Other people have said such a rule is “silly.” 

“There’s a put togetherness, look of all of the black caps and gowns,” Topness has said, she is part of a group of seniors who understand the regulation made on decorating caps. 

“You have to walk a certain way and you have to sit down a certain way,” Topness said. “So I think it has a lot to do with just going along with traditional professional-esque events.” 

“I think they should let us,” J Martin said. “But I don’t think they will.”