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Manteca Unified OKs graduation cap decoration
Examples of gradation cap decorations.

Graduating Manteca Unified seniors next spring will be able to cap off their high school careers with a personal touch.

The Manteca Unified board has blessed rules designed to allow graduating seniors to personalize their graduation caps to fit their personalities, achievements, or their plans for the future.

The rules adopted are as follows:

Decorations must be two-dimensional, flat on the top of the mortarboard, and cannot make noise, hang from any sides of the cap, or light up.

They cannot contain an advertisement, symbols, abbreviations, initials, words, slogans, patches, or pictures that refer to drugs or controlled substances, tobacco, alcohol, weapons, or be of a sexual nature.

They cannot denote an affiliation with gangs or groups that advocate drug use, violence, illegal activities, or disruptive behavior.

The administration will still have the right to disallow anything that is not considered appropriate for the commencement ceremony. The policy notes there will be no negotiations or discussions after May 15 including on graduation night.

The presentation to the board included quotes from students involved with helping shape the cap policy.

“Decorating graduation caps allows someone to be an individual showing their creative side and telling their high school story through their caps,” said Alexandra Baez who will be graduating next spring.

Another Class of 2020 member — Ashley Graber — noted the new policy will allow graduates to display “their personality and hard work to the audience and fellow students at graduation.”

The request to allow decorative caps was made by students last school year. A committee consisting of students, activity directors and administrators was formed to make recommendations for rules governing the decoration of caps that also are called mortar boards. 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email