An issue of equality: gold robe tradition should remain

Ashley Perez, Staff Writer

Throughout the school year, high school students proudly display their athletic achievements through things such as letterman jackets and varsity uniforms. Fellow athletes and peers understand the hard work that was done to earn these items, and most people respect the talent of the athletes. With that being said, how are the honor students being respected for their talent?

Starting with the class of 2011, honor students who worked hard to maintain an average GPA of 3.5 or higher throughout their high school career will no longer be awarded gold robes at graduation. Instead, they will receive gold cords to wrap around their robes, but purple will become the dominate color to reflect student equality. However, making all students appear equal is illogical. The gold robes simply reflect student achievements the same way letterman jackets do for athletes, so why is it an issue now?

People offended by the gold robes are missing the point. These robes are an incentive: something for students to strive for, not be discouraged by. The hard work and sacrifice completed from these determined students should not be minimized to spare feelings of students who are lazy or apathetic.

Equality shouldn’t even be an issue. This is high school. Students will experience the most unequal treatment of their lives walking through these halls. Everyday, they are subjected to their judgmental peers. Students understand that we are not all created equal so why should their be a need? Appearing equal is not the same as being equal.

What will students lose next if the school continues their crusade for equality? Will we be required to wear uniforms? Will we lose our diversity all together and become identical high school clones?

Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but the point is that the removal of gold robes is a small step in that direction.

I do recognize the fact that some students have learning disabilities or do not receive the attention they need to excel. Therefore, the issue of helping the students in need should be handled instead of taking rewards away from the students who are working hard.

Furthermore, nobody is taking away letterman jackets from star athletes to encourage equality. Why are the honor students being targeted?

The bottom line is honor students are not getting what they deserve. As one of the ways an academic student can display their achievements, gold robes should be a continued tradition.