Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Caisha Gayles graduated with honors last month, but she is still waiting for her diploma. The reason: the whoops of joy from the audience as she crossed the stage.

    Gayles was one of five students denied diplomas from the lone public high school in Galesburg after enthusiastic friends or family members cheered for them during commencement.

    About a month before the May 27 ceremony, Galesburg High students and their parents had to sign a contract promising to act in dignified way. Violators were warned they could be denied their diplomas and barred from the after-graduation party.

    Many schools across the country ask spectators to hold applause and cheers until the end of graduation. But few of them enforce the policy with what some in Galesburg say are strong-arm tactics.

    "It was like one of the worst days of my life," said Gayles, who had a 3.4 grade-point average and officially graduated, but does not have the keepsake diploma to hang on her wall. "You walk across the stage and then you can't get your diploma because of other people cheering for you. It was devastating, actually."

    School officials in Galesburg, a working-class town of 34,000 that is still reeling from the 2004 shutdown of a 1,600-employee refrigerator factory, said the get-tough policy followed a 2005 commencement where hoots, hollers and even air horns drowned out much of the ceremony and nearly touched off fights in the audience when the unruly were asked to quiet down.

    "Lots of parents complained that they could not hear their own child's name called," said Joel Estes, Galesburg's assistant superintendent. "And I think that led us to saying we have to do something about this to restore some dignity and honor to the ceremony so that everyone can appreciate it and enjoy it."

    In Indianapolis, public school officials this year started kicking out parents and relatives who cheer. At one school, the superintendent interrupted last month's graduation to order police to remove a woman from the gymnasium.

    More at link, including the race issue:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070601/ap_on_re_us/graduation_decorum&printer=1
     
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  3. hicpics

    hicpics New Member

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    i agree with the girl at the end of the article. saying she couldnt control everyone at the event.
    the kids shouldnt be denied their diploma because of what the audience does. i dont know what the school can do about the troublemakers though in the audience. Maybe just keep throwing them out. but dont keep the diplomas from the kids. they worked 12 years for them.
     
  4. Peter Hamilton

    Peter Hamilton New Member

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    Agree--denying the kids diplomas is absurd--Its not their fault their relatives may have over-reacted--I did like the part about the air horns,though--that was funny--a bit over the top lol
     
  5. BhamMama

    BhamMama Former Member

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    How silly! One moment of one lifetime and it's that big of a deal?

    I'm so happy, pleased, excited and thrilled I never have to deal with public schools!
     
  6. nanandjim

    nanandjim Former Member

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    My stepdaughter graduated from Hoover High School in Alabama. They were basically threatened that if anyone cheered for them they would not get their diploma. She said that they were told more than once in a very threatening fashion. I thought that this was absolutely ridiculous. It is supposed to be a time of joy as it is a big accomplishment for both the child and their parents/friends!

    Of everything that the schools should be doing, this is not one, IMO.

    P.S. I cheered and felt like an idiot afterwards. :blushing:
     
  7. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    If they all knew the rules beforehand, why didn't they just comply? They knew the risk to their graduates and decided it was worth it, on behalf of their graduates of course. Nice relatives.
    I bet they will behave next time, which is what the school is trying to accomplish.
    Like I tell my kids, just because we think a rule is stupid, doesn't mean it doesn;t apply to us. If these people were making statement about being able to be rowdy, more power to them, but they knew their graduate would suffer as result.
    There are better ways to bring about change.
     
  8. Gmommy

    Gmommy Inactive

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    I feel very badly for these kids. How are they supposed to control their family/friend's emotional outburst. What if mom or dad burst into loud sobs of tearful joy, would they deny the diploma over that. When you are choked up with emotion sometimes things just happen, I mean people laugh during funerals sometimes, it's not something they do to be cruel it's just an uncontrollable reaction to the stress and grief.

    My school dealt with cheering in a dignified manner. They let the parents/family cheer and paused until it was quiet enough to announce the next name so that everyone in the crowd could hear all the names. Yeah, maybe this adds 3-5 seconds time per student to the ceremony but after so many years I think these families should be able to celebrate their children's achievements.
     
  9. nanandjim

    nanandjim Former Member

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    I agree--especially since both the student and parents signed a contract! My stepdaughter's school did not have the kids or parents sign a contract. I know that, had I signed one, I wouldn't have made a peep. :chicken: ;)
     
  10. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Exactly! I would be peeved at my family if they did that to me or my child. What were they thinking if they signed a contract?! Why would they do that to their own friend or family member?!
    I mean have some self control for gosh sakes. I would start a movement to have it changed if it was unfair or unecessarily harsh. Got to set an example for these kids! Teach them how to bring about change the right way, not to just ignore what they have already agreed to. It's the mentality that all the rules apply, but just not to me. Just burns me!

    When my kids graduated, there were roughly 1000 students in each class. It makes for a very very long day, with each name being called. While each child would get varying degrees of cheers, people were generally quick about it and they could move along.
     
  11. Show Me

    Show Me New Member

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    I don't know how you can control the actions of the audience!
    This is absurd and IMO illegal.

    What was the girl supposed to do? Turn around and scream, 'SHUT UP?'
     
  12. JanetElaine

    JanetElaine Well-Known Member

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    What a lucky school.
     
  13. nanandjim

    nanandjim Former Member

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    This is apparently why they want the applause and cheers controlled, which is understandable.
     
  14. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    She shouldn't have had to. The cheerleaders in her group should have known better as they signed a contract.
    the title of this article should be:
    Il Students Lose Diplomas Because Family Members Violate Contract.

    I am the biggest loudmouth around, but I know when to turn it on and when to turn it off. Simple courtesy here to the next in line. LOL, this is not too much to ask from an audience.

    In our youth baseball, if parents don't show up to work theiir shift in the snackbar, the kids have to forfeit the game. The idea is to get these parents to think of someone besides themselves and their own child;like the group as a whole. I see the same parallel here.
     
  15. sleuthin4fun

    sleuthin4fun Member

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    I think not giving them their diploma is abit extreme. It is a once in a lifetime event though and I think that others would like to be able to hear the names of their children being read as well. I saw this happen once at a pre-school graduation. The parents were nuts it was the most inapproriate thing I had ever seen. I be they won't have this problem at that high school next year.
     
  16. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    But I think that is exactly why they chose this consequence. They let it be known in advance that their own children would suffer and they chose to do it anyway! What does that say about these family members and friends? I just don't get it myself. They probably thought, what parent would jeopardize their child getting their diploma?

    Well 5 of them would.
     
  17. nanandjim

    nanandjim Former Member

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    What surprises me is that four additional groups cheered after the first graduate was not given his/her honorary diploma!! That wasn't too bright. :crazy:
     
  18. sleuthin4fun

    sleuthin4fun Member

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    I am sure also that it wasn't just your typical clapping it was probably very loud!!!!
     
  19. Details

    Details Former Member

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    I think it's reasonable, especially since they can get their diploma for a mere 8 hours of community service - that's not really any big deal. And it's just a piece of paper, the students still graduated.

    From the sound of it, that school had issues that went way beyond even a mere 3-5 seconds of cheering (air horns, very loud disruptive cheering, leading to fights and threats), and they only picked out the disruptive, loudest cheering, not some poor mother overcome with sobs or involuntary cheers.
     
  20. KatK

    KatK Former Member

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    I think if they sue to get their diplomas, they will prevail. The school is affecting the rest of that student's ENTIRE LIFE *and* their ability to get a job and have a roof over their head/not starve. That is punishment FAR outside the realm of reasonbleness. Kicking out people who cheer is reasonable, even if it means stopping the ceremony. With-holding the diploma the student EARNED via meeting the criteria for it is not reasonable, and IMO illegal. (Even with the contract, signing something illegal like that doesn't necessarily give away your rights, and I'd say the contract is void because it is illegal, and unreasonably punitive.)

    ETA: Are they asking the student, or the noise maker to do the community service? I could maybe see asking the noise maker to make amends somehow (so long as it doesn't demand they take off work) but asking the student to pay for their family member's "sins" isn't reasonable either.

    ETA2: Also, Trent at the very end of the article has a valid point as well. With this now known, who is to say there won't be people shouting just to be spiteful when their name is called? Kick out the disruptors, or make them (if you can prove they are related to the student) do the community service. How about fining them instead?
     
  21. MSM

    MSM New Member

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    They are not affecting the rest of the students' entire lives. They can get their diplomas if they do 8 hours of community service. They are giving them a slap on the wrist for their friends' and relatives' failure to comply with a written contract.

    Sometimes I feel sorry for the schools. They can't win. Sounds like last year, this school had to deal with a bunch of angry parents complaining that they couldn't hear their kids' names called at graduation because of air horns (?!), and now they try to do something about it, and they get crap for that, too. What are the other options to get the audience to shut up? If you kick out the troublemakers, you are only doing it after the fact.
     

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