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Rob Beschizza at 5:54 am Thu, Jun 7, 2012
Sounds harsh until you read the details that before getting their tickets :
“parents agreed that “any disruptive behavior” would result in their child’s diploma being held until 20 hours of community service is completed”
So people are now whining that they didn’t read the small print. Sorry, but they should just consider this an idiot tax. Either idiot for not reading the small print or idiot for reading it and then forgetting about it on the day.
Either way, good on the school for actually sticking to some sort of unpopular rule. The number of americans who think rules are optional provided they complain and whine enough is shocking. What’s even more shocking to me, is that whining a lot works!
I disagree completely.
I’m not normally a loud person, but I’d be VERY tempted to bring a bullhorn to protest such a stupid rule.
PS I don’t define any form of cheering a “disruptive behavior”. Maybe if they charged the stage to high five th graduate …
A lot of high schools have put a damper on cheering because some people were yelling so loud and so long that other parents couldn’t hear their child’s name called. I agree, it sucks, but if people aren’t going to be civil then we have to impose rules to make them behave.
Year 11 of high school, we cheered a Lot whenever someone mentioned our class, Year 12, up on stage for graduation, we got really annoyed with the next class doing that. Yet we enjoyed the hell out of ourselves when we did it. Competing interests.
Community service should consist of family members forced to wear the following cap for twenty hours (not consecutively) in public:
Sorry, but I can’t agree with children being punished for the actions of others, family or not. Extrapolate that to the world outside of school, and it makes no sense at all. They should throw you in jail because somebody in your family broke a law??? So, it makes no sense in school either. Find another way that actually penalizes the perps.
As for you people agreeing, WTF is WRONG with you?!
If I am going to sit in a way too hot, way too hard, way too close to the person sitting next to me, auditorium for 3 hours waiting for the REST of the parents children (last name starts with B. So they will get up there right quick) then you best be sure that I can hear that little spawn of mine’s name LOUD AND CLEAR.
It is a ceremony, not a goddamn block party. Save your crazyness for AFTER they get their little slip of paper. Then, I don’t give doodley what you say or do.
At the university at which I work, graduation proceedings often come to a halt because the audience is so disruptive with cheering and air horns; you simply can’t hear anything but the crowd. The president regularly threatens to have people ejected by the campus policy (who are our university are actually armed state police officers). The cheering is annoying and often clearly intended to be disruptive, but the threats are alarming. I do wish people would be “civil.” And the air quotes indicate my own self-suspicion and discomfort with that wish. In part my wish is about social class and middle-class norms. But it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect an element of solemnity at such a threshold moment in a person’s life.
Why not just stop the ceremony until the noise dies down? Once people realize that the three-hour ceremony is going to run until a week from Tuesday, the noisy people will be beaten into the dust by the rest of the crowd.
Yeah! Kudos to the school for holding the kids responsible for the actions of their families. That’ll teach you to…um…wish you were born to a different family that didn’t have free will and the ability to be disruptive!
So kids earn a diploma but it’s withheld because of the actions of the family. I suppose that does teach them about the unfairness of the adult world. Thanks for supporting it even more.
>good on the school for actually sticking to some sort of unpopular rule
Yes, what we need more of is schools sticking to unpopular, unreasonable rules. Reminds me of this thing.. starts with z.. zero.. zero something. Anyway, yay for inflexible rules.
Except that the source article claims that the rule is popular.
What it doesn’t say is how long was considered ‘excessive’, if that was included in the policy provided to the ‘guests’ and if it was being applied uniformly.
Nor does it mention graduating class size and the length of the ceremony. Are the graduates being raced across the stage assembly-line style, or is there a pause for each with a handshake that can be easily photographed?
And, have they changed how these are done? Because I seem to recall being handed my diploma as part of the ceremony. Do they then take it away again? How?
But, hey, it’s Ohio.
All right, I admit that I (as well as Max) missed it was “popular” according to someone. (It seems to be popular in this thread, anyway. God knows graduation ceremonies are awful enough already.)
I was mostly reacting to the ridiculous idea that sticking to rules, rather than interpreting them, is an inherent good. I don’t even care about this particular rule, I just reject the notion that schools have a duty to stick to the rules at all costs. That kind of thing is poison.
At least in my school we were handed an empty folder, and the actual document was given to us later when it was determined that we had actually earned all the credits, had no disciplinary actions pending, etc. It’s actually the only leverage they have against you, so I think policy was to hold on to it as long as possible. And the ceremony was the day after school ended. I also assume this made it easier, since the order we were in no longer had to be coordinated with the diplomas.
Idiotic policies put in writing do not make them less idiotic.
Christ, what assholes.
Having to face consequences of someone else’s actions? Hmm maybe actually that is a good life lesson.
Actually reading the full article, it looks like the school is giving the family members every chance to step up and take responsibility for their own actions. From the sounds of it the very people who caused the issue in the first place are choosing to leave the grads on the hook for the community service. That or trying to wait it out and hope that public outrage forces the school to back down.
Having read the entire article too, I don’t really find it as outrageous at the headline suggests. The guests agreed to the conditions already set out and as you say the school are happy for family members to do the community service on behalf of the students. So it really comes down to the family members not taking responsibility. And if they don’t and force the students to take on the responsibility even though it’s not their fault, as I stated… a good life lesson, it happens every day in the real world. :)
Maybe I am biased in that we don’t have any kind of graduation ceremony here unless it is at university degree level. Seems strange to me to have one just for completing high school.
This has been on the local evening news a few times lately.
Here in Cincinnati, all the news reports have stated that it was fellow students whose cheering upset the principal. NOT the family. No one seems to know why these specific students were singled out.
Annoying as delays in already-long graduations might be, this is a pathetic tantrum by school officials suffering under a gravely inflated sense of their rightful role in a student’s life.
You can hear for yourself after the news clip in this video:
There’s maybe 8 seconds of cheers, and one additional screechy yelp as the next student’s name is announced.
I guess that’s the yelp that chapped the principal’s ass.
Seems like quite typical school response and not all that unusual to be honest. I was given plenty of class detentions etc because of the actions of others. I can only go by what was reported in that article but it seems you have more info on it, being a local.
The bigger story in that clip is that he graduated when he can only read at about 4th Grade level.
Yeah, I hesitated to post the clip after seeing his struggle to read that letter on camera. This is still a teenager, though, and when I was his age I would have frozen in the lights of the camera crew.
Anyway, in my experience going to a half dozen high school graduations over the past few years, the cheering seems to be in inverse proportion to the student’s presumption that he’d one day be walking across that stage.
Along those lines, the biggest cheering I’ve heard at a graduation was when a classmate walked across the stage, having entered law school partially paralyzed. His pro baseball career had been cut short after one game in the majors when his neck was broken in a car crash.
Having recently attended a graduation, all I can say is GOOD!
There are ways to express support for your loved ones that do not involve making a public spectacle out of yourself while simultaneously deafening those around you.
So, next, I can be fined for my second-cousin’s-third-removed’s exposing himself during my basketball game?
Sue those jackasses. Any lawyer worth their salt would immediately emit a Wilhelm scream if this scenario were run past them. It sings “LIABILITY!!!!”
I admire your apparently very tight knit family who is also very tolerant of the creeps among them.
Nothing of the sort.
Most graduates of US High Schools are 18 or over – making them legally adults, i.e. independent legal entities.
The tickets to the graduation ceremonies contained qualifications – making them a form of contract; This contract was between the school and the non-student attendees. It isn’t between the school and the student.
What if an unpopular (ethnic minority, religious minority, asocial) student walked across to receive his/her diploma, and were cheered/booed by other students to cause this rule to be sprung? Then, through no fault of his/her own, a student is being denied a service that is to be equally available to all students.
Abusable, unconstitutional, with zero founding in civil law. It’s the attempt to forcibly enroll an independent third party legal entity without consent to a contract made between two parties.
I’d set my request for damages at $1000.00 per hour (actual and punitive) from the time I presented myself to receive the diploma, when they were being given, to the time when it actually ended up in my hands, and would request that the school official who thought up this incredibly poor “rule” be made to serve the community service, and placed on administrative leave while every decision he or she ever made is gone over by the ACLU.
PS – if that seems excessive or cruel to you, consider the fact that school districts have had no less than twentyfive years from a decision banning forcibly hijacking graduation ceremonies to a particular religious majority and no less than fifty from banning the hijack to a particular ethnic majority and two centuries of common law practice and precedent that precludes causing an independent, uninvolved third party from being held to A contract between two others. If it bankrupted this school district and forced all further students to seek education elsewhere than from this gang of backwater idiots, it would still be too little.
Actual story: Mother embarrasses son by making too much noise.
I don’t know their back story, but this is graduating from high school. “Congratulations on not being let down by the system” is the level of pride required here.
I like the mother’s reaction to the punishment: “It took away so much from how happy I was,” she said. “It makes absolutely no sense.”
Notice she’s focusing on her happiness and not her son’s?
Did you see this one?
“South Carolina Mom Arrested for Cheering at Daughter’s Graduation”
Have to say I support this action. That rule is there so that you can read everyone’s name out in a timely fashion. Every time you get the ridiculously loud cheering (and air horns!) it takes that much longer to finish the whole program, not to mention it is incredibly annoying to be next to in the crowd. The parents knew the consequences going in, chose to ignore them, and now want to whine about it.
You have to?
It was something he agreed to in the fine print of the last graduation he went to.
Attendees in this ceremony are required to post comments defending automatic acceptance of rules on any news story they read involving automatic acceptance of rules. Failure to post a comment defending automatic acceptance of rules and penalties described therein will result in the immediate execution of the attendee’s closest relative.
Oh hey, responding to a perfectly accepted English idiom with absurdly extreme literalist logic. Presumably you think yourself clever for pretending to not properly understand what they are saying, and even more clever for intentionally conflating the flaws of a language with the flaws of a person.
Oh, hey, presume all you want. But you know what they say about presuming. You make a “pres” out of “u” and “me”.
You have to consider the massively boring nature of every graduation ceremony. Tens of thousands of people are required to endure the 5 second walk of thousands of individuals to receive the diploma (or thousands endure the walk of hundreds), and 99.9% of those moments are irrelevant to the observers who are there for one individual. The whole institution of walking each person across a stage should just be scrapped. People are disruptive because it’s a badly designed theater experience, a few seconds of excitement surrounded by endless boredom. No excuse for rudeness, of course, but plenty of good reasons for it.
Wow, yes. Almost anything would be better, no matter how cheesy.
Have the party afterwards, I say.
Air Horns? WTF? I’ve been to multiple high school and university graduations (in Canada) and have never witnessed any ‘disruptive’ behaviour by parents and friends — and certainly not air horns.
The key phrase there being “in Canada.” Before the bans were in place, there were people here in SC who competed to be the loudest at graduations. Because if your child has the loudest cheering section, he is better than everyone else.
Note that there were no air horns in the case at issue here. Less than 10 seconds of cheering, which ended before the teachers even finished shaking his hand.
Now, if they’ll only start enforcing good behavior at movie theatres and at some other venues.
Note to self: At my children’s future graduation, cheer loudly for bullies and other kids that were jerks over the years.
Hire fake parents to cheer for these kids to add a level of deniability for my own child.
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
This is reminiscent of my high school graduation (White Station, Memphis TN) – we were told beforehand that any disruption, anything that called any attention to us, etc – would result in our diploma being mailed back. No cheering, no applause, no decorating your cap and gown, certainly no tossing the mortar board. It was so anti-climactic and locked down that I didn’t *feel* like I’d graduated until a couple weeks later – there was no emotional connection whatsoever.
I understand that organizers need to avoid disruptions, but there has to be a way to keep this special for people and not turn it into an echo of high school itself – locked down with all life sucked from the room.
Just wait until they get to college!
I think they view you less as people and more as an extruded product.
Makes me glad I dropped out of high school.
Not sure if withholding diplomas unless the student agrees to do the punishment that rightfully belongs to someone else is really the *best* way to sell the idea that high schools care about students and want them to succeed. Makes them seem a little more like power-tripping, petty bureaucrats.
One of my children had a graduation ceremony this week. On the whole the cheering was very egalitarian – the sound and duration ranges were small – but I did notice that some kids got more appreciation than made sense to me, knowing the social dynamics of the class. My daughter told me later that it was a subtle form of bullying, one that cannot be disciplined by the school administration: some kids were being cheered more *because* they were unpopular. There’s nothing bad you can point to, but “everyone knows” that you are being laughed at in the most public way possible.
Wow. That’s some subtle, Machiavellian bullying. Was this graduation from Battle School?
Maybe I’m old, but that bullying angle makes no sense to me.
I skipped my high school graduation. It’s just a validation of four years of Lord of the Flies. And who over the age of 19 even knows where their high school diploma is?
These are high school graduates; usually (or soon to be) able to vote in presidental elections, volunteer for military service, get married, etc…
Yeah, I know, it is valid under (some) dictionary definitions of the word, but take a look at the alternatives in a thesaurus and the subtext implied by this word choice is (I hope!) all wrong.
(I have found a similar law annoying for years. When you enter a casino in Indiana you see signs informing you that leaving ‘children’ under the age of 21 in your room while you play in the casino is against Indiana law. Which seems odd, since Indiana, like most states in the USA, allows them to drive a car at 16 (perhaps with some limitations, which go away at 17). Hmmmm, can get in a car and drive where they want, but can’t be left in a hotel room by their parents… what is wrong with this picture?)
Believe it or not, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, who are now 63 and 61 years old, are still the children of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The word is used to describe relationship between family members as well as describing age, and this post is about students being punished for the behavior of their families.
Isn’t diploma a document? Is withholding diplomas even legal?
In the US, the school systems, from 1st to post grad, has been trivialized to simply be a backdrop for being the training ground for ‘professional sports’. Just as municipalities now cut social services, while continuing to build ever more glitzy and expensive stadiums for the benefit of corporate sports, schools pump ever more money into sports while gutting academic programs.
This ‘cheering’ business is just one more aspect of this trend. I have seen graduation programs where this gets totally out of hand, the jocks turn it into a mockery of academia. The students who worked hard to get good grades get no recognition because the jocks are hooting non-stop over the announcements.
Not only totally destroying the respectful atmosphere, these noisy types also show their disrespect by coming dressed in wife beaters, lycra shorts and flip flops.
The jocks see it as a event put on just so they can razz the normal students and their families. University for them is just a stepping stone to professional sports. This behavior is a clear signal of the disregard they have for the educational role of the institution.
So you never know if your child was called, so you never had a chance to clap or cheer for them. It turns into one big hooting noise fest,a loud party at our expense.
On the bright side, this teaches the kids early that many authorities are often wrong and stupid people that should be subverted.
Great Rule. I’m sure at the beginning of graduation the audience was told to hold their applause until every name was announced. I don’t mind polite clapping but air horns, loud shouts “We love you so and so” are simply not polite and are frankly rude.
My daughter graduated last night from a small performing arts school. Last night one of the graduates, a dancer was diagnosed this year with a rare disease that will end his life in less than two years. He gathered up every ounce of energy he had and walked across the stage. At this point every single member of his senior class stood, clapped and shouted. There was not a dry eye in the house. There are always exceptions to rules and that certainly was one I celebrate.
Mods, I can’t see any way to delete that last post – the screen capture I attached is too wide. This one is half size.
If looks could kill…