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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Comment on Graduation Ceremony Standards

Some of you have been reading with interest the headlines of, "7 Arrested for Cheering at High School Graduations". Most people take from the article that it involved the Rock Hill Schools. The good news is that it does not. However, it could have been and has been in years past.


The Rock Hill High School graduations of 1998 hit a new low. The crowd (not the students) was very bad.  The atmosphere was closer to a zoo than a graduation. Parents were complaining because of the unruly and inconsiderate people in attendance. A school/community committee was formed to address the issues identified with the desire to bring dignity and true celebration back.

Some of those recommendations were:
Appropriate clothing attire would be required for all in attendance. Violators would not be admitted.
Appropriate behavior would be required for all in attendance - violators would be removed.
Teachers would wear Cap & Gowns and march in with the students.
Professional photographers would take pictures and the event would be televised.
Extra security would be hired and in full site during the ceremony.
To communicate these changes, students were verbally told the changes as well as given a write up for those attending the ceremony (with their tickets). Information was posted on school web sites and printed in the newspaper.  The tickets had the information printed on them. The principal made an announcement at the beginning of the graduation, informing all in attendance what expectations and consequences were.

And people get mad when you do what you tell them you're going to do?????? What did they think the extra security was for? Are they also surprised when the highway patrol gives them a ticket for speeding?

From my perspective, holding applause to the end is a very emotional and exciting event.  There is nothing better when the last students name is called and the whole place erupts with celebration. Every student and guest celebrating together. It's as if they had just won the national championship. What an experience to end your high school career.

Anyway, things got interesting on Wednesday when Rush Limbaugh discussed the incident on his radio show.  Some of his "ditto heads" began emailing our schools and complaining (even though, in this case, it wasn't us). I don't understand how civil disobedience is a conservative issue.  I thought preventing it would be one.

I didn't hear Rush's show. Some of his statements from the transcript are below:

Rush Limbaugh Show

CALLER (John):  ....  You know, you want it to be a dignified setting, and --

RUSH:  What are we talking here? We're talking high school students. High school students and dignified?

RUSH:  They're getting out of prison!

RUSH: They're getting out of prison here, John.  They can't wait to get out of there.  They're proud that they've graduated against the odds, that they had rotten teachers and a rotten school, and they still getting out of there with a diploma.

RUSH:  You don't see the loss of freedom in this? You don't see the slow encroaching on freedom? ....  
RUSH:  I can't believe it. This happens every now and again.  An innocent little story that I tell at the open of the program that is designed to illustrate the encroaching and gradual loss of freedom is causing the biggest hubbub -- well, it's not the biggest, but it's a hubbub, much bigger hubbub than I thought it would be.......

Read the full text here:

Read how the national media covered the event here:
• FOX: 7 Arrested for Cheering at High School Graduations <,2933,365461,00.html

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