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Chester County Press

Kennett graduates will all wear blue gowns

03/15/2022 01:27PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Starting with Kennett High School’s Class of 2022, all of the graduates will wear blue gowns at commencement. Previously, the girls wore white, and the boys wore blue.
Responding a request by members of the High School Gender Sexuality Alliance at the February board meeting, the board enthusiastically voted unanimously at Monday’s meeting to adopt the all-blue garb. 
At the presentation last month by Dio Gigante Dima, Jenna Oakes and Ash Wardwell during which they asked for the change, the three students cited results of surveys they administered which indicated most members of the senior class agree. 
In the discussion period preceding Monday’s vote, board member Michael Finnegan said he recalled the issue of graduation gown color had been brought up in a previous year, but at that time it was different. The reason given then was that girls complained they had to buy a white dress to wear – as it turned out – only on that day.
“I highly support this change,” he said.
Board member Ann Parry likewise praised the proposed change.
“It was a wonderful presentation that they felt they could come to us to make this decision. I am proud that we will approve this,” she said.
Board member Ethan Cramer said it was vital to go forward with a new tradition that makes graduation day important for all students in the class. 
“It’s important that every single student that comes through our district feels special, that we are a community. … that [being at Kennett] isn’t based on gender, ethnicity or origin,” he said.
Also at the meeting, Robotics Team coach and mentor Ron Sandstrom asked for and received permission to take his team to postseason competition events (beginning in April) should they qualify. 
The Kennett team traditionally does well and regularly goes on to the postseason tournaments. 
During the regular season they have two events: one at Springfield and the other at Seneca High School in New Jersey.  He received approval to take his team to Lehigh University for the Mid-Atlantic championships should they qualify, and to Houston, Texas, if they made the world finals. 
Additionally, in his monthly report, Superintendent Dusty Blakey announced that during the most recent count there had been zero cases of COVID-19 in the district schools. 
With that news, the district has made wearing masks totally optional, even on school buses
He added that even at the county level, the incidence is currently at the “low” level.