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Paso school board rejects grad cap decoration proposal

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The Paso Robles school board shot down a student petition requesting that Bearcat graduates be able to decorate their caps, despite a proposal from one board member to give the idea a one-year trial run.

Zelbert Armer, a Paso Robles High School (PRHS) senior, first brought his “Caps 4 Cats Proposal” to the board earlier this month. PRHS Principal Anthony Overton had already said no to Armer’s idea, and Superintendent Curt Dubost expressed his support for Overton’s decision, but the board decided to discuss the issue further at its May 10 meeting.

Armer, who gathered 700 signatures in support of his idea, said reasons to decorate one’s cap include celebrating the college you’re heading to or other post-high school plans, showing gratitude for your family’s support, honoring a loved one who passed, expressing one’s personal beliefs, or offering an appropriate quote for the occasion.

“The caps and the whole graduation ceremony is for … our families to respect and love and to cherish, and I feel like this is a very memorable thing for us to watch as we go on,” Armer said at the May 10 meeting. “I feel like you should also be able to represent your university or college you’re going to, and also you can represent Paso Robles High School, the place that you grew up from.”

But Overton and Dubost both felt that grad cap decorations would take away from the formality and tradition of the event.

“I believe that the belonging to the community of Bearcats, that is so important to our town, warrants the recognition of an unaltered cap and gown as that symbolic representation during the ceremony,” Overton told the board.

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