School officials in Rock Hill, South Carolina apparently mean it when the tell family members to hold their applause to the end. Officials have had seven people arrested for the curious crime of cheering too loudly at their graduation ceremony. Six of the new felons were arrested at Fort Mill High School’s graduation and a seventh at the graduation for York Comprehensive High School. They were all charged with disorderly conduct.
Now, I have sat through many a graduation ceremony where families try to out do each other in screaming. It is like complaining about the weather. While some may find it undignified, it is a natural (if not irresistible) impulse of proud family members. One could understand if a family member is occasionally asked to leave, but arrested?
The arrested individuals now face a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Yet, school officials seem to be losing their collective minds over the issue of loud cheering. In 2007
in Galesburg, Illinois, five students were denied diplomas from the city’s lone public high school after enthusiastic friends or family members cheered for them during commencement. The students were told that they would have to complete eight hours of public service for the school district, click here.
Once again, I am at a loss of how these officials remain employed as educators. To require students to do community service as vicarious punishment for the actions of a third party is absurd.
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