- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Students at the U.K.’s University of East Anglia have been told to mime throwing their mortarboards upon graduation this July, due to the “unacceptable risk” the flying caps may pose on the students’ safety.

Students graduating at the July 21 ceremony in Norwich have been instructed to pretend toss their caps for their class photo, and they can pay an extra $12 to have the caps digitally added later.

“The decision to not have the traditional ‘hat throwing’ photo opportunity for all students this year follows a number of injuries over recent years to graduates hurt by falling mortarboards,” the school told The New York Daily News in a statement. “This is an unacceptable risk, and we want to ensure no student’s graduation day is ruined by the potential for avoidable injury.”

The university said the decision to end the practice was backed by its photographers and academic dress suppliers, “who often receive back damaged mortarboards.”

Penguin Photography, which agreed to alter the university’s graduation photos, said the ban would make for a cleaner shot.

“As well as being safer, this will have the added advantage that even more of the students’ faces will be seen in this photograph,” read an email obtained by student news website The Tab.

Two other U.K. universities, including Aglia Ruskin in Cambridge and the University of Birmingham, have also told students not to throw their hats this year for safety reasons, The Daily News reported.

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