The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Dr. Stuart Announces New Cap, Gown Policy

AP Newsroom
Students at Cornell University pose at their 2023 graduation.

Whispers sprinkle the auditorium. Dr. Stuart just explained how, in the past, students couldn’t decorate their caps. Now, if it’s for religious or cultural reasons, they can.

“When he first started talking about decorating our grad caps, I got excited thinking I’d be able to decorate my cap,” senior Sophia Holobaugh said. 

On Aug. 4, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed three bills into law that, according to the press release from the same date, will increase “protections for Native and Indigenous Illinoisans.” 

One of those bills, commonly known as the Regalia Bill, “prohibits schools from banning students from wearing cultural regalia as graduation attire.” This was the reason for Dr. Stuart telling us we might be able to decorate our caps.

This left many wondering, what qualifies as cultural decorations?

“My thought is you operate on good faith,” Dr. Stuart said. “If somebody says, ‘This is something that is culturally important to me,’ as long as it’s not rude,”

This law opens up space for debate, but also leaves a large gray area.

Senior Alessia Heiser was born in Italy and is very connected with her Italian heritage. Since it’s her culture, she wants to glue uncooked pasta to the top of her cap.

But will that be allowed?

“My main thing is I don’t want offensive images or words displayed,” Dr. Stuart said.

On the day of graduation, the decorations must be approved by an EHS staff member, and if it is not approved, you must take it off. If you don’t take it off, you can’t walk.

“It’s not going to be [the teachers’] call,” Dr. Stuart said. “If they think something may be over the line, then an administrator will step in and be the ones who have to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to it.”