Too Many Cheers at Graduation

A graduation of any kind is a joyous time. In most cases, family and friends attend to cheer on and support their graduating loved ones. However, five students at Galesburg High School in Illinois received much unneeded and undesired support from their guests.

I came across this story and found it to be a very controversial issue.

The policy at Galesburg High School prohibits cheering at the graduation ceremony. Students and parents were required to sign a statement saying that they would not cause a disturbance at the commencement ceremony.

The school’s policy was created after the graduation ceremony of 2005 when screams, yells, and air horns masked the ceremonies speakers and announcements.

The five students that received cheers at the graduation ceremony were not allowed to receive their diplomas that night. Nor were they allowed to attend the after graduation party that was planned.

After much time spent dealing with criticism (and speaking with a lawyer on behalf of the students), the superintendent of the school system decided to award the students with their diplomas.

In addition to receiving their diplomas, the students would also like an apology. The school’s policy ruined what should have been a special night for them. It also cost them attending the party that they worked for and deserved.

I can see how a crowd could possibly get out of control and disrespect the seriousness and significance of a graduation commencement ceremony. However, I cannot see how the students can be responsible for the members of the audience. Had the students created a disruption or “streaked” through the crowd, then a punishment would be deserved.

Yet in this case, I feel that the members that did the yelling and cheering should have been removed from the audience. The students should not have been held accountable for behaviors and actions that were not their own.

Schools need rules and need to have control. However, some just try to take it too far.

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