The cheering conundrum.

Every year, there is a story about a high school student who doesn’t get their diploma because his/her parents stood up and cheered for their accomplishment.  This year, there were arrests and threats of lawsuits.  Personally, I think people just need to shut the hell up.  It isn’t a matter of showing pride in your child’s accomplishment, it’s a matter of civility which is a concept totally dead in today’s society.  It isn’t a matter of policing uncivilized behavior, it’s a matter of blatant over-reacting.  And it seriously needs to stop.

Get your diploma, go home and throw a party for the ages.

They don’t want you to cheer because if everyone stands up and screams for their child, the ceremony will take five hours.  If the ceremony takes five hours, parents will be lined up at the next school board meeting crying because the graduation ceremony took so long.  They also place restrictions on celebrating because some kids don’t have an entourage to hear from.  This moment isn’t for you–it’s for your child.  It is their time to grab a piece of paper that recognizes their achievement.  Shed a tear, wax poetic, but save your wild applause and yells of joy for after the ceremony.  Go home, light the grill, tap the keg and shoot off fireworks.  Enjoy it because the whole family deserves it.  Just don’t make it about you.  If you end up on the local news because you were asked to leave a graduation ceremony, you made an ass of yourself.  You broke the rules.  They asked you politely NOT to cheer.  They would like to keep things moving so everyone has a chance at a moment.

The ceremony is not about your moment as a parent.  It is a collective moment for the class of 2012 (or whatever class is being recognized.)  I know, it sucks.  It doesn’t seem fair, or right.  Think about it though.  You just sent your child to school for 13 years, asking them to learn how to follow the rules and to behave in a civil manner.  Why then, is it so difficult for families in attendance to follow a simple rule for the betterment of the ceremony?

If cheering would make the ceremony better for everyone involved, they would let you do it.  School administrators don’t want to ruin your day.  They just want to provide a nice, civil experience for everyone.  So follow the rules, let the process play itself out and when you get home–yell from the rooftops!

The ramifications of ignoring a simple request are just not worth it.

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