The California Department of Education (“CDE”) recently advised that a school district may not require students to purchase a cap and gown as a condition of participating in the graduation ceremony. According to CDE, a graduation ceremony is an educational activity subject to the free school guarantee because it is an integral, fundamental part of education recognizing cumulative academic achievement. Therefore, a school district may not require students to purchase or pay for a cap and gown if wearing a cap and gown is a condition of participating in the graduation ceremony.
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