Graduation for the class of 2023 is scheduled for Monday, May 22 at 11:00 am at Golden 1 Center.
Personal Item of Adornment
The Elk Grove Unified School District’s Board of Education recognizes that the diversity of our school communities enriches our schools, strengthens our students’ educational experience, and helps to prepare them as global citizens. In order to acknowledge this diversity and support students’ desire to demonstrate their individuality and personal expression, the Board of Education has authorized students’ limited self-expression at high school graduation ceremonies.
Any student participating in his/her high school graduation ceremony may wear one single item of personal significance and/or individual expression during the ceremony. This item may represent the student’s academic or extra-curricular participation and/or achievement in school or the student’s personal characteristics of ethnicity, culture, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, nationality, race, color, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or military service.
Any such expression must meet certain criteria, however, outlined as follows:
- All students participating in the EGUSD graduation ceremonies shall wear a district approved cap, gown, and tassel, unless exempted for sincerely-held religious beliefs.
- A student’s single item of personal significance and/or personal expression may be worn as an addition to the graduation tassel or as a separate lei, necklace, cord or stole around the neck or shoulders.
- Apart from adorning the tassel on the graduation cap, graduation caps, themselves, shall not be modified. Students may not adorn their graduation caps with any item of personal significance and/or personal expression.
- Any item affixed to the graduation tassel shall be inanimate, shall hang down from the tassel, and shall not exceed the size, length, or width of the tassel.
- Items worn around the neck or shoulders shall be one-dimensional, inanimate, and shall not exceed the width and length of district-issued honor stoles or cords.
- No item of expression shall be enhanced by audio, video, light or movement.
Consistent with Elk Grove Administrative Regulation 5127 and Board Policy 5145.2, the school site and/or district-level administration may prohibit at graduation ceremonies any item of personal significance and/or individualized expression that:
- Clearly and directly incites students to commit unlawful acts on school premises or at the graduation venue, violates school rules, invades the rights of other students or substantially disrupts the school’s or ceremony’s orderly operation.
- Includes any expression, words, material or content which are obscene, libelous or slanderous.
- Includes any use of “fighting words”, including epithets or gestures or depictions thereof.
- Includes language that is abusive and insulting rather than a communication of ideas and/or presents an actual danger that will cause a breach of the peace.
- Includes expression, words, material, or content that is discriminatory or harassing to other students, staff, or members of the public based upon those characteristics protected under Education Code 220 or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Penal Code section 422.55.
- Includes expression, words, material or content that infringe upon the rights of other students.
All items of personal significance and/or individual expression must be pre-approved by the school site principal or his/her designee. Upon approval from the site principal or designee, students will receive a confirmation of approval. Students must bring this confirmation to the graduation ceremony and have it available to present to site or district staff as verification of pre-approval. Please know that students who fail to have in their possession at the graduation ceremony evidence of pre-approval may be prohibited from wearing their item before and during the ceremony, including during the recessional at the end of the ceremony.
Should a student’s item not be approved, he/she will have the opportunity to appeal the denial and/or present an alternative item for approval prior to the graduation ceremony and in accordance with the district’s timeline. The immediate appeal shall be made to the school site principal. A meeting between the student and principal may be necessary. Should the denial be upheld by the principal, a subsequent appeal may be directed to appropriate district-level personnel.
If a student’s single item is not approved by the site principal or his/her designee during either the advance approval or appeal process, the student may be prohibited from wearing the item before and during the ceremony, including during the recessional.
Please feel free to contact your administrator if you have any questions or would like additional information regarding the parameters for personalized graduation attire adornment.
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