Monday, May 04, 2009

Graduation 2009

Board of Education members participate in graduations as part of the academic procession, and along with the Superintendent confer diplomas to the graduating class.

If you wish to have your graduating senior presented their diploma by a particular board member, please contact that board member with the student's name and school as soon as possible.


LegalBeaglette said...

I read with interest yet another letter to the editor (“Students behaved, parents not so much”) in the local newspaper regarding behavior at high school graduation ceremonies. There have been similar letters in years past.

I would like to offer this: I have had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony at one of the top universities in this nation. To my surprise, parents and guests were encouraged to celebrate the accomplishment of the graduates, as each student received his/her diploma. It was indeed a time to celebrate – years of very hard work, and a financial investment in excess of $100,000, not including the interest over time on their loans. [Pocket change for your superintendent…but not for many of these graduates, or their parents.]

I would not characterize the delivery of diplomas as raucous, but it was not a quiet affair with simply polite applause, either. It was certainly joyful. People stood, and shouted out. Importantly, there was accommodation for those who wished to take photographs as the diplomas were awarded, and there was no drowning out the name of the next graduate, which I agree is certainly rude.

High school graduations have become huge affairs with the ever-increasing size of the schools we build and the number of students in each graduating class. To expect the guests to refrain from applause, or not to stand or shout out ignores the fact that the celebration of graduation is both cultural and personal. While I understand the frustration of the letter-writers, I also understand the desire of parents and guests to acknowledge the graduates individually at the time the diploma is granted, not simply as a mass at the end of the roll call or at a private get-together afterward.

I wish I had a suggestion to offer – how to accommodate those who want high school graduation ceremonies to be staid, formal, orderly events, and those who view them as singular occasions to celebrate the achievement. I think both camps fairly have a place at graduation. As a shared experience, though, and one that involves such large and diverse groups of people, consideration of others is key.

Anonymous said...

I must offer this.
Middle school and high school graduations have become a shouting match for miscreant parents and miscreant students.

Students receiving high honors for academics receive, in most cases, polite applause. The raucous behavior of these animals is plain embarrassing, especially the "parents." They sound like a bunch of hound dogs, barking and yelling for thugs that just made it through, either by social promotion or the "skin of the teeth."
The behavior of these miscreants (which did not occur eight to ten years ago), is a direct reflection of our county "goofball commissioners" to overbuild, overtax, and hence, flood our schools with crime-ridden miscreants roaming the hallways, forcing parents to yank their kids out of the federal system and put them into private schools.

I still shake my head as to how the county pays the superintendent an obscene amount of money to obtain repugnant AP scores, have incredible amount of teacher turnover, seasoned teachers running for their lives, and gang infested schools.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Anonymous 12:17 a.m.: Sounds like we have a racist follower on the blog. We all saw what hateful and negative attitudes towards a race and culture can do with yesterday's shooting at the Holocaust museum. Maybe it IS time to beef up security at the schools, if for no other reason than to protect the students from hateful and prejudiced people like you.

Anonymous said...

It was even worse at an elementary school graduation. First, audience members continued talking over the fifth grade speakers, principal, vice-principal, and guest speaker. It's very sad when a fifth grader has to ask the audience if they are ready to continue with the program.

I can understand clapping and cheering for your child...I wanted to do the same thing but we were asked to hold the applause until the end of the presentation. My child told me later that other children were counting how many students received applause. According to the counter, the ones that didn't were "losers." No, maybe their family was just following the rules.

It's one thing for cheers but when it becomes screaming and yelling then it borders on the ridiculous. Then each one tries to out do the previous group. Our ceremony was so bad that one parent held up the awarding of the "diploma" so that he could take photos of his child with a board of education member. This person must have been up for votes because he held the child up so that the parent could take several pictures. The child was clearly embarrassed. But that opened the flood gates: now other parents felt that they had to go right up to the stage and have their child pose as well.

The funny thing was that most of the children were following the rules: the parents and guests were the ones that seemed to feel that the rules didn't apply to them. And the public wonders why we have such problems in the public school system with behavior...if parents don't have to follow the rules, why do the children?

Remember, the graduation isn't about this case it was for the fifth graders. If parents were so proud of their accomplishments why did they talk over the fifth grade class hosts?

Regarding accommodations: it's certainly reasonable to have space for pictures, etc. If the graduation I went to was any indication, I don't think that people would have been polite enough to allow others to get photos of their loved one. If parents just walk in front of others taking pictures and stand in front of the stage until their child walks across, what makes you think that having a designated picture taking area will make it any better?

Consideration of others is the key as LegalBeaglette stated. Having audience members continue conversations while the program is going on is just plain rude. While we all want to cheer, some can't handle it. Screaming at the top of your lungs is often physically uncomfortable to their neighbors in the audience. Unfortunately, the decibels raise as each one tries to outdo the other. By the end of the graduation ceremony, we couldn't even hear the fifth grade child try to close the ceremony.

As hard as it may be to swallow, graduations are not about the parents, but the student and their accomplishments. There is a huge difference between a graduation from a university vs. one from an elementary, middle, and even high school. What I witnessed was not adults focused on their child's goals but on their own wants.

Anonymous said...

We've got an apologist liberal whining about the nonacceptance of deviant and downright obstinate behavior of portions of our population. While raucous behavior abounds in all groups, it is mostly centered around groups with low income and limited education.
Face the facts. Polite applause, even some cheering should be just fine. But to grunt, grown, and displaying "stick it to the man" behavior at a graduation ceremony id despicable.

But as we meander down the transformational path of PG County, we will continue to have an escalation of crime, higher turnover of teachers, more cops in the schools, and more disruption in the classrooms. These are the facts. That is why many people are moving out of the area, in search of better school systems and a better way of life for their families.

Our county offers no decent private or charter schools, which would allow parents to choose to pay the extra cash in order to secure a solid and more rigorous academic track to four year + universities. In this day and age, students must give it their best shot to go straight to four year universities, raising their chances of obtaining a scholarship to pay for out-of-control college costs.