Girls wear white gowns, boys wear purple at graduation - but not for long in New Rochelle

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Marcus Solis is live in Westchester County with the details.

So what's in a color? In New Rochelle: plenty.

"My father and mother graduated in purple and white. I graduated in purple and white. My daughter and two sons graduated in purple and white," said Mark MacLean, a New Rochelle High School graduate.

For over a hundred years, graduation at New Rochelle High School has featured boys wearing purple gowns and girls dressed in white.

But change is coming. Acknowledging some students identify as transgender, all graduates will soon wear only purple.

The principal saying, "No student should be forced to choose a graduation gown color, particularly if choosing the color could pose a significant emotional burden related to declaring an identity."

"I feel it's wrong and we shouldn't have to change a whole tradition and something that's been going on for so long just because some people feel a different way," said Miles Taylor, a student.

"Every single year people would graduate in the two different colors, so I think it would be better to stay like that to follow the tradition," said Elizabeth Marquez, a student.

The decision has been unpopular. An online petition against the change has garnered hundreds of signatures.

And a proposed compromise in which any student could choose either color has fallen on deaf ears.

"In a rapidly changing world tradition really matter. This is a great tradition which does not have to be destroyed," MacLean said.

The change doesn't take effect until 2017. That's enough time opponents hope for the administration to change its mind.

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educationgraduationNew Rochelle
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