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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No Joy at Graduation

Recently, Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White sent letters home to the families of graduating students, letting them know that they wanted a solemn graduation ceremony, and cheering for individual students would not be allowed. We've all heard that before- "please hold your applause until the end of the graduation." A few people cheer anyway, and it's all good. Right?

Wrong. When people started cheering for individual students, the Superintendent had them tossed from the graduation.
White was at yesterday's graduation ceremonies at Northwest High School. He interrupted the reading of the names of graduates to tell police to remove a woman. His calls for quiet brought both boos and cheers.

Parents can still cheer for graduates when they enter and exit the graduation ceremony, but some say the new policy takes the fun out of graduation.

I saw the video of this. It was ridiculous. If it had been in a church or a military academy or something like that, I'd almost buy it. Almost. But this was in a high school gym. That's what you do in gyms- you cheer.

High school graduations aren't funerals- they're celebrations. I'd be willing to bet that some of those parents were holding their breaths and saying a lot prayers until they heard their child's name announced. Surviving all the goofy hoops school districts make kids go through to graduate is worth a little yelling.

Yes, there is something to be said for respect and decorum. I'm all about behaving properly for the situation. And I didn't see the part of the video where it shows exactly how the family members were cheering. Maybe they were overly exuberant. I kind of doubt it, though. Showing your pride in your child's accomplishment is proper behavior. I imagine that I'd probably have to sit on my hands and tape my mouth shut to keep from cheering for the boys. It's a mom thing, ya know?

As long as it isn't excessive or rude, let them cheer.

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