Law school students at Britain’s University of East Anglia have been told not to throw their mortarboards in the air upon graduating — it’s just too dangerous. Instead, they are being asked to “mime” the gleeful tossing, with the caps to be Photoshopped in later, for an added fee of about $12.
Yale University appears to be the only American institution of higher education ever sued for a mortarboard injury. A motion filed in 1984 in Connecticut Superior Court describes how a commencement guest, one Mollie Levenstein, was struck in the eye by the sharp corner of a cap. The court held that “a mortarboard was neither inherently dangerous nor more likely to cause injury if improperly used than was any other angular object, thus it was not a dangerous instrumentality.”