The Maine Attraction: High School Student Denied Diploma For Waving and Throwing a Kiss at His Mother

6208_22505_0Superintendent Suzanne Lukas and the police of Standish Maine need to loosen up a bit. Lukas barred Bonny Eagle High School senior Justin Denney from receiving a diploma because he waved at his family and blew a kis to his mother. It turns out that the school’s rather imposing mascot (left) was an accurate depiction of the school officials at the graduation.

Lukas and the local police were upset because the seniors were clowning around at the graduation with a couple of beach balls — a common appearance in large graduations. The solution? You take away the beach balls.180px-BeachBall

Local police made one student sit away from his classmates with staff while another student was escorted by police behind the stage. That seems a perfectly reasonable response. However, it quickly racketed up.

Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chief Kevin Joyce said “The individual that was escorted off the stage was asked to leave the civic center. He was to the point where the deputy wanted to arrest the individual, but gave him several opportunities to settle down. Eventually, he took off his cap and gown and threw it at the deputy and walked out of the civic center.” He wanted to arrest him? Since when is excessive beachballing or clowning around a criminal offense?

Lukas appears to have been surprised when confronted by a large number of high school students at this graduation and reportedly stated “More people may not be graduating today if this continues.” That is when Denney made his outrageous wave and kiss to his mother. It was a shock for his grandparents who (while ill) came to see their grandson graduate — only to see him turned away.

There is now a petition to fire Lukas, here.

I have been through almost three decades of graduations and I have seen everything at these ceremonies, even with graduate students. There are rude people and students who tend to deprive such ceremonies of their special quality for other families. Yet, we have never seen the need to call out the local police and turn away a single student. It is certainly true that high school have a tougher time with high school kids than graduate schools. I do not criticize the officials for trying to impose decorum and proper conduct, but it seems that this went a bit too far when police are considering arrests and students are denied diplomas due to a bow or thrown kiss.

Of course, these parents may consider themselves fortunate. In South Carolina, people were arrested at a graduation for applauding too loudly.

For the full story, click here.

11 thoughts on “The Maine Attraction: High School Student Denied Diploma For Waving and Throwing a Kiss at His Mother”

  1. One of the tensions in public education today is the split between those who see themselves as educators and those who see themselves as disciplinarians. The former understand the purpose of education and treat most diversions from the norm by students tolerantly. The disciplinarians institute “no tolerance” policy’s and take even the most minor infractions as a personal affront.

    When you place an authoritarian adult (usually someone with self esteem problems)in charge of children/teens any perceived impropriety is an intolerable assault on their authority. This is yet more blowback from the past 5 decades of faux conservatism.

    At my own HS Graduation, in the early 60’s, afterwords in the room where you returned the gowns/hats, I lit up a cigar in front of the Vice Principal who had suspended me months earlier for smoking in the boys room. He was a ramrod ex-marine whose only reaction was to tell me to leave the premises, to which I responded “with pleasure.” As much as an
    authoritarian figure as he was, he was secure enough in himself to take it no further. Forty some odd years have wrought changes in our educators.

  2. Obviously, the State of Maine needs some attention. And stupidity is a good way to get it! Please tell this superintendent and principal that there is a crisis among young people in the educational world of today. Every high school student and parents should be proud of the milestone accomplished when an educational goal is attained, at any level. Kids should be encouraged to acknowledge parents for their accomplishment. It doesn’t sound like the bow and kiss were very disruptive. The mere fact that the graduation was disrupted to denied the student his diploma the insane. It sounds like the principal and superintendent should take a course in ‘COMMON SENSE” and be FIRED!

  3. WoW, I’m kinda’ amazed at the total lack of manners that the posters here seem to be comfortable with at what should be a fairly ‘grown up’ occasion. And getting all bit**y with Les because he thinks air horns ruin a graduation (Air horns are just rude, we’re trying to have a society here people.) is harsh. What have you all been having for breakfast today?

  4. Tase foo.

    You foo. Tase Yoo foo too.

    Probably only because they did not have them.

  5. I don’t know about them, but it did take me a while that the seat does in fact fold down. It spring back up when you get out out it. So maybe they had to sit on the edge of their seat all night and were uncomfortable about that. Apparently, be raised in front of the person blocks their view, so maybe they got yelled at.

    Just remember Les, the next time you go to that seat, check to see if it moves. If it does, then by all mean push it down and sit. But do check it out to make sure nothing is on the seat that you don’t want to sit on. Bring your hand sanitizer as you will need it. Some people carry Germs and you don’t want anything anybody else has.

    I may be wrong here, and I’ll take a stab at this too. I do not think it would be appropriate to bring in the hand held personal auditorium seat steamer. It may take some time to dry, you if you are going to do that you might want to plan ahead.

    If per chance you actually do get out of your home invite them over to your house so you have control of everything. Yes, it is appropriate to ask people in your home to act according to your wishes or they may be asked to leave. But remember, not all children were raised with such fine manners as yours.

  6. “You kids get the Hell off my lawn!”

    That about sums it up, no?

    I’m sorry that wonton and public displays of happiness are so offensive to some of you. I’m sorry for you. You’d all be a lot more comfortable in those auditorium chairs if you’d pull that stick out before having a seat. And Lukas should go into a line of work more suited to her personality. Like a private prison guard.

  7. Les

    I had no idea they had such troubles at graduations for home schoolers or was this in Iran? Let the kids have some fun. Sooner or later they have to grow up and deal with prigs like you.

  8. Schools need to rein in the displays & disruptions at graduations. All 3 of our son’s graduations were ruined by selfish senseless screaming & yelling, air horns, and graduates doing clownish things for attention.

    I would ask anybody that hasn’t gone to a graduation recently that hasn’t implemented some basic rules to attend one and then pass judgement.

  9. Well, how else are we going to indoctrinate our young men and women with a proper view of authority so that they do not resist the police state as they grow older?

  10. I guess some of the things we did like letting out greased pigs, pigeons in the number of the graduating class amongst many other things like a little weed smoking in the HIgh School while it was in session. I guess this was nothing near compared to beach balls and waving. They should be banned from attending college as well. They might even study. Tisk, tisk, tisk…..A**W***ES

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