Ever been to a graduation where somebody's family acted a fool? I have. Thank God it wasn't my own.
Anybody who's witnessed what I reference knows the cringe factor here. Overzealous whooping and hollering is just not cute in certain settings. Those with home training (and you know who you are) know full well that at certain dignified, stoic events...weddings, baptisms, graduations there's a certain amount of decorum expected, no? Naturally heads are going to turn when all of the sudden, a name of a graduating senior is announced and an entire section — Uncle Jimmie, cousin Skeeter, Big Momma and ten more — decide to stand up and raise the roof. Almost as if they earned the diploma themselves, just for showing up.
But should that mean that the graduating senior should be penalized by
not receiving their diplomas, based on the reaction of their family members? According to the officials of Galesburg High School, the answer is yes. And as if that isn't punishment enough, the seniors — including those with honors — are expected to do several hours of "community service" (ie. filing, answering phones, and other menial tasks for the School Board) before they get their actual diploma.
The principal, Principal Tom Chiles, said administrators who monitored the more than 2,000-seat auditorium reported only disruptions they considered "significant," and all turned in the same five names.
"Race had absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever," Chiles said. "It is the amount of disruption at the time of the incident."
I would buy that if four out of the five students punished weren't black, and the other wasn't hispanic. And if I was certain there had been equal repercussions for other seniors, and their shenanigans.
Some people might need etiquette lessons, but what's wrong with being happy? And should any of us really be held accountable for our, how do I say, more eccentric family members? As much as I cringe at Al Sharpton jumping into the mix any time anything even remotely racial occurs anywhere in the U.S., I sure hope he's on his way out to Galesburg, Illinois right now.
What do you all think?