6.02.2007

And just where do you think you're going?

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.

From AP:

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?

13 comments:

Michael Davidsen said...

I've spent some time in Galesburg myself, and don't remember seeing many people of color there. Hmm. That said, I hope that the students were warned that this might happen, so they could have warned their families. I appreciate your reference to "home training" which makes me think somebody's parents should have taught them better, regardless of their race.

Dee said...

OK, seriously? People got rowdy and loud enough in the past that a contract needed to be signed? I mean, there were a few whoops (not me, I swear, hehe) at my 1st grader's honors ceremony last week but for the most part, every adult knew how to behave. It's unfair for these kids to be punished b/c of a few loud relatives. :-/

Texas Truth said...

Kudos to the administration for trying to maintain a bit of decorum at a graduation ceremony.

People need to know how to act in public. After all, they signed a contact to behave appropriately.

I have a post on my blog about this. Please feel free to stop by and post a comment.

http://moretexastruth.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Many people don't understand that the euberance sometimes flows from what the family members know of what the graduate had to overcome to reach the point of commencement. The fact that your loved one survived circumstances that are hostile, often lethal for young people of color (men expecially)can, understandably lead to uncontainable joy. The punishment seems to be a harsh over-reaction.
Aunt Philly

Nerd Girl said...

I am going to side w/Aunt Philly on this one. While I do acknowledge that some, okay, lots of people are quite enthusiastic during graduation ceremonies, there are students who have overcome quite a bit in their lives to make it across that stage, and if someone in the audience acknowledges that in a manner that is different from what is deemed acceptable, so what?

I am appalled that the students are being held responsible for the actions of others, no matter that the others may or may not have been their relatives.

My brother graduated college this May, and while my parents are not the whoopin' and hollerin' type, I wouldn't of blamed them a bit if they had. Four out of four children as college graduates? And three of them males? Whoop and holler on.

The older I get, the less inclined I am to be judgemental about how other people act. I'm not for lawlessness or anything, but a joyful shout? Why not?

Seems to me that the name-reader could've just paused to ensure that the next graduate's name could be heard.

Now, if we could just get these graduations to be timely affairs . . .

James Landrith said...

"Texas Truth" apparently doesn't get it.

The students were not making noise. The spectators were making noise. Students - no noise. Spectators - noises.

Students - punished. Spectators - not punished.

The students were punished for actions committed by others.

The students were punished for actions committed by others.

The students were punished for actions committed by others.

The students were punished for actions committed by others.

Again, for the folks who don't get it: The students were punished for actions committed by others.

How is punishing one person for the actions of another anything approaching fairness? Maintaining order and decorum? Give me a break. This is the equivalent of putting my child in detention because I got in an argument with his teacher.

Learn the difference.

It is not the responsibility of high school students to control their parents and family members. Anyone advocating otherwise is promoting "guilt by association", a rather unAmerican concept.

Sonia said...

I agree with James. Those kids should not have been punished. I saw the parents of two of the girls and they said that they did not make any noise. They can't control their guests. The guests who made noise should've been ushered out. I feel like the school is forcing the students to make a fake apology for something they didn't do to get their diplomas.

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

I couldn't agree with you more! This was total crap. Let me see if I understand this correctly. The students were being punished for the actions of others?! Crazy.

Rony

valiantqueen said...

As a teacher, I find this appalling. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first read this story and have just gotten increasingly angrier over time. I cannot believe that an educational institution would solve a problem in such a ridiculous manner. I certainly hope apologies are made to the graduates whose nights were ruined by this policy. One girl made the point that if someone wanted her to be embarrassed, harrassed, etc. they could cheer when her name was called. It's a perfect forum for bullying! Egads--I could go on forever!

Honey said...

Since when did happiness have to be limited? There were hoops n hollers...it's not like anyone streaked across the grounds with Grad-Uate on their butt. Seriously...if they wanted absolute silence why not mail out the stinkin' diplomas. Shame on that school & the people who condone the punishments of these who have EARNED their diplomas. They know it's all bull or else they'd be issuing tickets to those who were whoopin' as disruptive. Again..another way for twits to control the actions of others. Lord, let 'em celebrate with excitment. I know when we graduated there were cheers, whistles & plenty of clapping. Like another poster said...pause when reading the names so all are clearly heard. It's not like they let off fireworks or had their own PA system.

Honey

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