Clover High had dignified ceremony
Clover High School just had its graduation ceremony at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill. It was held there due to the large class of 327 graduates.
As the students marched in, they presented the trophies and honors Clover High School has won this year. In front of the podium on a table were placed the South Carolina state championship trophies in football, band, chorus, and student government, along with the J-AFROTC National Distinguished Unit Award. To complete the dignified ceremony, all those attending displayed their best behavior as a tribute to the students. No one in the Clover audience interrupted the ceremony in an inappropriate way.
Those present who had attended other schools' graduations were heard to remark that it was the best graduation they had seen due to the excellent crowd behavior. I commend the Clover High School seniors for their achievement and their dignified demeanor throughout the evening.
Celebration should be permitted
As a mother of two graduates, I am appalled by the recent arrests made at the Fort Mill and York high school commencement services. This is supposed to recognize the accomplishments of the student. The family and friends who have supported this student for 12 years have earned the right to cheer, scream, jump up and high five one another or all of the above! How dare we as a society put a stop to this!
I am not saying all students should not have the same opportunities. What I am saying is we all should stand up and cheer when our students earn their diplomas. There has to be a way we could allow each student a few seconds to receive the "way to go" cheer. Are we so scheduled we cannot take time to remember the really important thing? My child just graduated! In these times of young people dropping out, turning to drugs, having babies or dying needlessly in drunken car accidents, why are we all not shouting from the roof?
If this is not possible, just mail the diplomas, and the celebrating will still be happening in homes all over the city, but you as part of the community will celebrate by invitation only.
Can't keep quiet? Then stay home
Should graduations be a celebration? Yes! Should they be a WWF-style yell-fest? No!
With any ceremony, there is a correct time for everything. Making a public display of yourself while your child, friend or relative walks across the stage to receive a magnificent honor that they have spent 12 years working for is disrespectful to the graduate and those around you, draws attention away from the graduate and onto the person or persons causing the disturbance and, in many cases, humiliates the graduate.
I have attended many graduations; some have been so out of control that you couldn't hear a thing. Others have been beautiful and very meaningful. Recently, I watched with great pride as my son walked across the stage as a member of South Pointe's first graduating class. It was a pleasure to be able to hear his name as it was read out and see the joy in his face as he received his diploma. What was even more powerful was the smile on every graduate's face when the guests were invited to recognize their accomplishments. That was the appropriate time to celebrate, and did we ever!
The graduation tickets are very clear about what is expected from each guest in regards to dress and behavior. The behavior expectations are clearly reinforced on the overhead scoreboard prior to the graduates' entrance and again in the opening remarks of the first speaker. The presence of so many of Rock Hill's finest should reinforce the rules even if your upbringing and lack of manners discounts them. I strongly suggest that if you can't or won't behave, then don't attend.
Don't drown out others' names
A writer complained in a recent letter that his family should be able to disrupt graduation by cheering happily and loudly for him because he was the first in his family to graduate from high school. However, what if the graduate immediately after him was also the first in his/her family to graduate from high school? Imagine the second student's dimmed family celebration because they could not hear that once-in-a-lifetime high school graduation announcement of their student's name because of the cheering for the first graduate.
People who have attended graduations where rules are not enforced know just how inconsiderate, loud and undignified these excessively celebratory graduations can become. The main problem is not being able to hear the names of all the graduates after 12 or more years of hard work. Waiting until cheering dies down before announcing the next graduate would greatly lengthen already long graduation ceremonies. If the national news media wanted to be fair, they would play videos/tell both sides of the story by contrasting graduations with unenforced rules with those enforcing rules in order to portray the disappointment felt by many families who were not able to hear their special graduate's name. There is time before/after the graduation ceremony for loud celebration.
I am happy to say that I could clearly hear my son's name at last year's Fort Mill High School graduation as he walked across the stage. The vast majority of other local graduation attendees are able to say the same thing, thanks to enforced rules. I know Mr. Christopher is a man of conviction, and he is strong enough not let a national media attack sway him from allowing FMHS students' names to be heard at graduation. Thank you, FMHS.
People should cheer and be happy
I am writing this letter about the cheering graduations at Winthrop Coliseum. Who gives a damn about hearing their name called; they know their name. This is a day for the students, not for the school.
Russell Boker, get a life. The United States is at war, the price of gas is $4 a gallon, food prices are through the roof. People's homes are being taken from them. They are losing their jobs. I say cheer and be happy to get out of school.
Do not forget who paid the bill for having graduations at Winthrop Coliseum. We know it is not free! It is a shame our high school cannot have graduations on the football field. It is paid for. People could cheer and be happy!
Schools need to maintain order
We wholeheartedly support efforts to maintain orderly conduct at our graduations. What happened at the Fort Mill graduation appears to have been handled properly. First, notify attendees and graduates of the conduct policy, and then enforce the policy with prompt and orderly conduct by the enforcing personnel.
It is totally unfair to disrupt such events by rowdy, impolite people totally ignoring a written policy. Are these the same people who think policies and laws are for others, like red lights, speed limits, etc.?
Rules reflect mutual respect
Regarding Andrew Dys' article concerning graduation arrests, the writer is entitled to his opinion. However, in this case, I believe the school district policy regarding the graduation ceremony promotes mutual respect. I have been fortunate to have witnessed the graduation of a son and daughter from Northwestern High School in 2005 and 2007. I, along with many other parents, would have liked to have yelled for our graduates, but out of respect for approximately 400 other students and their families and being fairly warned we would be summarily escorted from the premises, we all held our emotions until the end as we were asked.
I am sorry Mr. Brandon and his daughter lost a wife and mother. However, odds are, others in the class have experienced similar tragedies as well. Unrestrained celebration might have caused Mr. Brandon or another parent to miss hearing the name of their graduate after waiting 13 years.
From personal experience, in May of 1989 my mother was unable to hear the name of her youngest son as he walked the stage of Byrnes Auditorium for the Northwestern graduation because people chose to be rowdy and had no consequences following their actions. Our dad died four months earlier. We did not write editors or make a fuss. However, after the experience in 1989, I welcomed the efforts of school administrators to enforce restraint.
Show respect for all students
I just wanted to respond to the editorial about the graduation arrest. At my daughter's graduation last year at Lewisville High, not only did I not hear her name as it was announced, but, because she graduated third in her class, she also gave a speech that I heard very little of due to the constant chatter of the people around me.
We taped the graduation, but, as you can imagine, all you can hear is the chatter of everyone around. I believe that the action that the schools took was the only way to solve this problem.
Drastic situations call for drastic measures. People need to understand that students have waited 12 long years for this and they deserve respect.