Tim's Take: Graduation cap toss - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Graduation cap toss

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Congratulations graduates. Now, just sit there.

"It's a tradition,” said Savannah’s Tammy Grant, “to throw your cap in the air.”

Apparently, a dying tradition, one that England's University of East Anglia has decided to bury.

The school has banned the practice, claiming a number of graduates have been hurt by falling mortarboards in recent years and that flying caps are now considered a safety hazard.

"Really? Well, it wasn't when I did it,” said Ruthie Woodard, whose niece graduated from Groves High School today. “It was a lot of fun. Just that I couldn't find my cap, but other than that.”

The cap toss has long been considered a sign of celebration and relief, but also a rite of passage, a symbolic tossing aside of the pressures and restraints of the institution students are leaving.

Now it is increasingly viewed as a risk, which British media has accurately described as ridiculous.

"It can't be that dangerous,” said Grant, “because they're not too heavy.”

This happening overseas makes it even more surprising.

Because prohibiting the hat toss sounds so much more like something over-protective American parents and gun-shy American school administrators would come up with. Actually they have.

Turns out fewer local schools are allowing the tradition too, including Beach High School, where Abrine Cobb graduated from Thursday.

"At the end, we said our alma mater and just got up and thanked everyone for coming,” said Cobb. “But we didn't throw our caps up.”

At least Beach students didn't do it because the school wanted to maintain a level of decorum, not because of some perceived danger that sounds like one last silly rule for schools to enforce

"You know, they make kids stop and have silent lunches so they won't choke,” said Grant, whose niece graduated from Groves Friday. “So, you never know.”

And now, fewer students will know the joy of watching your graduation cap sail into the air, and come down on the guy sitting next to you.

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