LONDON – A British university has been accused of overreacting for banning graduating students from tossing mortarboards into the air on health and safety grounds.
The University of East Anglia in eastern England told students it was curbing cap-throwing after "a number of injuries over recent years to graduates hurt by falling mortarboards."
Penguin Photography, which takes graduates' portraits, said students could mime the throwing motion and have a mortarboard digitally added later. It said in a statement that "we would much prefer to do these photos the traditional way but have to comply with the university's wishes."
Geoff Cox of Britain's Health and Safety Executive said Wednesday that "the chance of being injured by a flying mortarboard is incredibly small and it's over the top to impose an outright ban."