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Williamsville Schools consider changing long-standing traditions

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 18:34:04-04

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — After some criticism by parents, the Williamsville Central School District is exploring the idea of getting rid of the long-standing tradition of homecoming King and Queen, in an effort not to force students into a specific gender category.

“We’ve been having discussions about this as most school districts have for a long time,” said Dr. Scott Martzloff, Superintendent of Williamsville Central Schools. “We’re trying to figure out ways where transgender students or gender non-conforming students can be as comfortable as possible at those events,” he said.

Historically, male and female graduating seniors have worn different colored caps and gowns at graduation. That practice is now in question, after Superintendent Martzloff says in January, a parent of a graduating south senior contacted the school raising concerns about assigning cap and gown color based on gender.

“The district has made no such determinations, we’re just having discussions,” he said.

Word of possible changes sparked outrage among students and community members who say they weren’t asked to provide input. The district says nothing has been finalized, and these are just concepts and ideas at this point.

A petition titled, “WCSD Bring Back the Homecoming King and Queen” created last month has more than 800 signatures.

One person writes, “It would be a shame to lose this long-standing tradition for such a reason…completely unacceptable.”

“The district has not made any decision on these topics at all, but we did want to have conversation about them,” Martzloff said.

Dr. Martzloff says those conversations will continue next year.