FISHERS, Ind. – Students at Fishers High School started a petition encouraging the school to cut ties with its current graduation apparel provider.
With just 370 signatures short of its 2,500 goal, students gave three reasons why they want to stop using items from Herff Jones – the biggest issue named was price.
The Change.org petition called “Hamilton Southeastern Schools: End the Herropoly at Fishers High School” states the rental base package for Fishers 2017 graduates costs $67.95.
“More recently, the website has changed the total price to $78 - which becomes $103 after May 1st for ‘rush shipping.’ Students who did not purchase at least this package were not permitted to walk at graduation,” the petition read.
Students said similar graduation robes, caps and tassels could be purchased on sites such as Graduation Source and Amazon for about $20.
Other reasons students provided for wanting to discontinue business with Herff: "deceptive marketing techniques" and a claim of “sexist remarks made during the mandatory sales pitch,” according to the petition.
One comment on the petition’s webpage said, “I shouldn't have to participate in a business transaction to receive the diploma I have worked for and earned the last twelve years, let alone support a monopoly that has degraded my gender.”
Hamilton Southeastern Schools released the following statement:
The administration at Fishers High School has met with several students regarding their concerns over caps, gowns and graduation. We are proud of the initiative these students have taken and believe the conversation will continue in preparation for next year's ceremony.
With just a few days before graduation, we are unable to make any significant changes. Most students have already ordered their cap and gown. Students and families with financial challenges have been working with their guidance counselors to address their needs.
Graduation ceremonies are considered an extracurricular activity. Students who choose to participate are required to wear the appropriate attire to maintain the unity and integrity of this special occasion.
Signatures will be delivered to Hamilton Southeastern Schools according to the petition.