Skip to comments.School Relents, Gives Out Diplomas (Excessive Cheering Cited)
Posted on 06/07/2007 5:37:10 AM PDT by SkyPilot
Diploma Saga Takes Turn - Denied Students Lawyer Up
GALESBURG, Ill. (June 7) - Five students will get the diplomas they were denied when cheers erupted for them at a high school graduation, and school officials said Wednesday they would review a get-tough decorum policy.
The school imposed a no-cheering policy in an effort to restore decorum at its graduation ceremony.
Galesburg High School officials had said they would not hand over the keepsake diplomas unless they received apologies. But the stalemate over the diplomas and the media attention it attracted have taken valuable time and energy, they said.
Gayles listens to a question from a reporter Tuesday. An attorney took the students' case this week and threatened to sue the school district.
"It is time for the good of the community, the school district, the families and the students involved to move on," Superintendent Gene Denisar said in a written statement.
The diplomas were withheld because the school said cheering violated a school policy aimed at restoring graduation decorum. The students still were considered graduates on paper, but they didn't have a diploma.
Graduate Nadia Trent, second from right, said she's "just happy it's over." But she added, "it would have been better" if the school had apologized.
Graduate Nadia Trent, who picked up her diploma from the school secretary Wednesday afternoon, said she's "just happy it's over."
"If they would have apologized, it would have been better," said Trent.
Denisar cited talks with the Illinois State Board of Education, which has said it cannot support the district's decorum policy because it makes students responsible for behavior they cannot control, in explaining the decision.
The central Illinois school district about 150 miles southwest of Chicago will continue efforts to make commencement a "respectful and dignified occasion that all graduates and their families can enjoy," school board President Michael Panther said in statement. Officials did not say how they planned to review the no-cheer policy.
Peoria attorney Jeffrey Green, who took the students' case at no cost, sent a letter late Tuesday threatening to sue the district if officials did not apologize and deliver the diplomas by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
"They met with the families two or three times and had a chance to get this thing right," Green said. "I've been involved less than 24 hours, and now they have their diplomas, so you draw your own conclusions."
Parent Pam Kelley said she was disappointed that school officials did not apologize and that her daughter, Amanda, was handed the diploma by a high school secretary, not principal Tom Chiles.
"At least he could have come out and shook her hand and said congratulations," Kelley said.
There have been threads before on Free Republic - with those offering that the school is too stringent, while others argue they are only trying to keep the ceremony dignified and to help move it along and avoid excessive family cheering for one particular student that always draws nervous laughter and/or resentment from other parents and family.
I attended my daughters awards ceremony last night. The principal asked all parents and attendees to please hold their applause and cheers for groups of 12 that would come up on the stage. After 12 names were read and the students stood on stage for pictures, people were allowed to applaud and cheer all they wanted.
Three families deviated from this request - and were very disruptive with their shouts, screams, and whoops.
So far you can’t hear anything on stage from all the whooping, cheering and whistling. All the parents with kids in the productions try and sit as close as they can but it’s no use.
Yes it’s a public school. The little one is in private school and will remain there.
I didn’t understand this until I went to my son’s elementary graduation. The families compete to see who can make the loudest noise for the longest time. Naturally, if your child follows that noisy family’s child, you don’t get to hear their name announced.
We had the family next to us who talked the entire time. Add the special needs kid who screamed the entire time and I didn’t hear anything except for Aunt Soandso getting a new weave. I hear it’s a nice weave though but she paid too much for it.
‘”At least he could have come out and shook her hand and said congratulations,” Kelley said.’
I always do that when someone sues me. /s
It’s not enough she got her way, the principal also needs do bow down.
Ah, the wonders and joys of urban culture.
If you had paid closer attention in English class, Nadia, your grammar would be better.
"At least he could have come out and shook her hand and said congratulations."
If you had used correct grammar, Pam, he might have come out and shaken your hand and said congratulations."
Maybe they should have withheld the diplomas until the students learned correct grammar--and sent their mothers back for a few remedial classes.
"Officials did not say how they planned to review the no-cheer policy."
I would encourage the school board to cancel the ceremony and simply mail out the diplomas. Screw 'em. If people won't behave, why should the school district expose itself to potential lawsuits?
Well, let them cheer, let’s just not have any PRAYING, for God’s Sake. Makes a lot of sense what kids learn in 12 years in America.... Did they ever learn respect?
Oh I suppose it’s a bit undignified, but, on the other hand, the whooping and cheering can be fun and heartwarming. I’ve loved it when family and friends cheer wildly someone who’s the first in the family to get a certain degree. When my daughter graduated from medical school, the cheering from some of the families was wild and happy; I loved it. As for myself—I was so proud of my daughter that I was in tears, quieter and perhaps more dignified, but maybe it would have been better if I had whooped and cheered instead.
And anyway, it seems mean of the school officials to throw a wet blanket on such a happy occasion.
Give are children they’re diploma!
That and the obligatory ones about poor students not being allowed to attend the prom for one reason or the other. Really, I don't know how much suffering human beings can take. Auschwitz was bad, but if its victims had only known how bad things would be six decades later they would have thought themselves damned lucky!
My high school graduation 33 years ago was one of the most depressing events I have attend. It was held in an un-airconditioned building on a 95 deg. day. Kids were passing beer and other beverages around. By the time the ceremony was over, 2/3 of the graduates and their families had walked out. My daughters did not bother to attend theirs either. Their grade school graduation was a different story. Since it was from a Lutheran school, it was held in church, where everyone was more respectful.
If parents and children would learn that their word MEANS something, it would be better.
If a few selfish people didn't put their own selfish pleasure over the ability of others to hear their own children graduate, it would be better.
If the school would stand up to enforcing the rules everybody signed, it would be better.
If someone had just had a fog horn and blown it at these people when they stood up and screamed when they promised not to, that would have been better.
People think rules don't apply to them. And sure, if 295 people at a graduation FOLLOW the rules and hold their applause to the end, 5 people NOT following the rules isn't disruptive.
But if all 300 realised they could stand and scream and shout and disrupt when THEIR children walked across the stage, these selfish people who cheered might have gotten tired of sitting for 4 hours waiting THEIR turn to behave like idiots.
That's always the problem. If you let everybody do whatever they want, the most obnoxious people win, and everybody else loses.
As to "punishing kids for their parents", each year the school punishes kids if their parents don't sign stuff and return it at the beginning of the year. It's the only way to make sure parents do what they need to do.
I did disagree about one aspect of the punishment. They were going to give the kids diplomas if they did community service. Instead, they should have required the PARENTS who broke the rule to do the community service. Or better, to stand in front of the school with signs saying "I'm a selfish pig who disrupted my child's graduation ceremony".
The funny thing is that there are hundreds of other kids who now, a little bit, are let down that THEIR parents and friends didn't cheer THEM on when they walked the stage. These 5 people got a special cheer and honor that NO OTHER child was allowed to have. That's what is really not fair about this.
Interesting comment....maybe the schools should just yank commencement and mail the diplomas...let the parents hold their own ceremony....save the taxpayers $$$ too...
If the officials were serious about trying to maintain the dignity of the event, the principal (or whoever was officiating) should have stopped at the first one, addressed the student by name with something like "Joe Graduate, it is a sad that your family and/or friends are unable to understand the importance of your achievement and honor it with the respect that it deserves. I sincerely hope that you will continue to strive for worthy accomplishments in spite of their example." Perhaps the other families would have gotten the message and chosen not to disrupt the event and embarrass their students.
There were about 15 separate little performances and most people's children were represented in one or two.
Between each little performance, a slideshow of headshots of the children were displayed by projector on the stage backdrop to fill the time.
About half the kids had "cheering sections" - when a child's face appeared on the screen these morons would shout, scream and whistle.
Their child was backstage and was unaware when her picture may or may not have been randomly generated by the slideshow - it wasn't a misguided attempt at morale boosting: it was just obnoxiousness.
There was one particular assclown who showed up to the recital in a workshirt with the sleeves ripped off to reveal two full-sleeve tattoos on his arms. Whenever his kid came onstage he screamed at the top of his lungs, and as soon as his kid exited the stage he just got up and left, blocking other parents' views and blocking them again when he returned for his kid's next performance on the schedule.
This same piney joker got up and ran as soon as the finale was over.
On my way out to the parking lot with my family, everyone was honking in the circular drive in front of the auditorium. This same guy had run out early so he could pull up his truck and block the driveway for everyone - while he and his common law wife stood out by the door having a smoke, waiting for his kid to get changed into her streetclothes and emerge.
But only if they can demonstrate sufficient command of the English language to know the proper uses of the words "their", "there", and "they're".
What are you, some kind of racist?
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