I can't tell you how many graduations I have attended where parents and other family members are screaming and hollering when their student's name is called. I always feel sorry for the next person in line because no one hears that person's name. The graduation official will most likely stop calling names until the family quiets down. This causes the already long graduation to be extended even longer, every time they have to stop. Where is the respect? Where is the common courtesy?
Schools are getting tough and demanding graduation decorum. In 2007 the Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent told parents that the graduation was not a party or a pep rally. They had police officers at the graduation to remove anyone who cheered when the graduate's name was called.
Earlier this month, a graduate from Mt. Healthy School in Cincinnati, received a letter instead of his diploma. The letter stated that he and/or his family members needed to complete 20 hours of community service before he would receive his diploma because the family's cheering was a disruption to the graduation ceremony. Prior to the graduation a letter was sent to the parents indicating the rules and the parents were required to sign the letter indicating that they understood what would happen.
At Jane Addams Junior High in Schaumburg, Illinois, four students were refused their diplomas when they went on stage. Apparently, when they entered the graduation, their cheering sections were too loud. As a result, the teens had to pick up their diplomas at the school office.
A mother in South Carolina was arrested at her daughter's graduation for cheering. Everyone was told that they would be removed if they cheered during the ceremony. One mother disagreed with the rule. She cheered anyway because she felt entitled to show support for her daughter. The mother said that she had gone through so much to get her daughter to this point. She wanted to let her daughter know that she was proud of her.
Dr. Joyce Kenner, principal at Whitney Young Magnet High School here in Chicago runs a tight ship. Her students walk across the stage to a silent audience. If there is a disruption, Dr. Kenner stops the ceremony and announces that she will have people kicked out of the graduation ceremony. "I'm a stickler for decorum," she said. "We don't mind you cheering at the proper time. You can do whatever you want after the ceremony."
Parents need to learn to follow and respect the rules of schools. Graduations are supposed to be a joyous time for families. Every parent is happy and excited about their child graduating and they can't wait to hear their name called and to see them walk accross the stage. I get it! However, parents need to understand that there is a time and place for everything. Parents need to stop treating graduations like football games. You can't just yell and scream for your team at a graduation because it is rude and disrepectful to the other students whose parents are waiting to hear their names called.
If your child's school has rules regarding behavior at graduations, please abide by those rules. Choosing not to abide by those rules, indicates that you are willing to accept the consequences. All of the parents in these situations had prior warnings and they chose not to adhere to them.
Don't be bad parents by getting kicked out of your child's graduation or by causing your child's diploma to be delayed. Just remember, it's a graduation, not a football game!