After more than a decade of wearing gender specific graduation gowns, Helena High School finally announced they are moving forward with the decision to wear non-gender graduation gowns. Since 2007, HHS has been wearing gender-specific gowns, which is something Principal Steve Thennis says is recent memory and not a tradition.
After a couple of student groups approached him about changing the colors of the gowns, he then took the initiative to meet with other student groups, parents and teachers to get some feedback. Principal Thennis says graduation day is much more than the color robe you are wearing.
"Graduation is about the celebration of what they've accomplished to this point academically. It's not to celebrate their maleness or femaleness, more so than we would separate them and categorize them in any other way. It's about their academic accomplishments,” said Principal Thennis.
Once the decision was finalized, Seniors then voted on what color gown they wanted to wear. After the ballots were tallied, slate grey came out to be the winning color students will wear on graduation day. Principal Thennis then sent out an email to parents letting them know of the decision.
The school will continue to wear monochromatic gowns at future graduations, but they are still considering whether future classes will get to vote on what color gown they will wear.