Break the rules and you'll pay the price
Someone has argued that his family should be able to disrupt graduation by cheering happily and loudly because the student 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 and 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 and after the graduation ceremony for loud celebration.
Graduation from high school is an appropriate time for students to realize certain rules of conduct must be followed upon entering the adult world. Local graduation attendees were warned in various ways not to disrupt graduation by preventing graduates' names from being heard, and most were considerate. However, a few chose not to follow the announced rules. The real reason one complaining graduate was not able to take pictures with her fiancée after graduation is her fiancée made a conscious decision to break the rules. She should think about that and its possible future ramifications.
I wonder how she would feel if she could hear the more legitimate complaint of the family of the graduate following her who couldn't hear their graduate's name?
I am happy to say that I could clearly hear my son's name at last year's FMHS 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 Principal Dee 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.
Thorn Creek Lane
Learn common courtesy
This is in response to the arrests made during the Fort Mill and York High School graduation ceremonies.
Although it should not have been necessary, these invited guests were told in advance, not once, but twice (in writing and verbally), of the respect and decorum that was expected of them during this extremely important time in the lives of the students and their families. The word "ceremony" and lack of cheerleaders should have tipped them off that it was not a football game
For these people to thumb their noses at the hosts of the event (the school officials), only teaches their child, grandchild, niece, or nephew that they do not have to obey or show respect to authority figures (parent, teacher, boss, preacher, police, God) or to rules and laws. They have also shown that not only do they not respect the authority figures; they also don't care about the other parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who wanted to hear their student's name called as well.
I know that it's a big deal when a child graduates. It's a big deal for all of us. The problem arises when your joyous celebration of your child's accomplishments interferes with my being able to hear my child's accomplishments being announced.
Although it's not very common any more, it is called common courtesy. Let's all learn it, practice it, and teach it to our children.
River Chase Lane
Starnes should resign or be removed
I sat in stunned amazement after reading in the Fort Mill Times that Councilman Ken Starnes has been serving on the Fort Mill Town Council while actually living in a house in Tega Cay.
The story is disturbing on so many fronts.
Most disturbing is that Starnes continues to serve on the town council. Frankly, it is embarrassing to the council and the voters of Fort Mill that he has not immediately resigned. He doesn't even have the ethical insight or integrity to remove himself from voting on whether he should be allowed to remain on the council "until he moves back into town."
As if that is even an option!
By his own admission, Starnes has not been living in the ward he was elected from since last summer, long before he ran for reelection. That means he filed for reelection stating that he was a resident of the Town of Fort Mill while actually living in his family's second home in Tega Cay. His excuse of being a legal resident of the town is simply ridiculous. It does not pass muster is any way, shape or form.
What if he lived in Myrtle Beach, Miami Beach or New York City? Where is the line? Clover, Kershaw or Rock Hill? Or is it just Tega Cay?
As a candidate he deceived the voters of this town. He kept the vital fact that he lived in Tega Cay from us. The voters were ill served in making a fully informed decision.
He essentially turned the election into a sham and should be ashamed of himself for undermining the integrity of our democracy.
Yet he still serves on the town council.
I suggest that every council vote that was held while Starnes was serving under false pretenses and participated in be vacated and revisited. As long as he continues to serve on the Fort Mill Town Council, an air of illegitimacy hangs over town government.
In the event that he does not do the right thing by immediately resigning, the town council has no choice other than to remove him and move forward by handing it over to the ethics commission for investigation.
It is outrageous that Mayor Funderburk has allowed such a travesty to go on this entire time. I thought we were promised a new vision. Seems like someone has been turning a blind eye.
James D. Thompson
There's better uses for police
Regarding what happened at Fort Mill High School's graduation, it's only natural that you would want to cheer for your family member or friend. Those who were arrested were not out of line. They let out one loud yell for their graduate and that was it.
I totally agree with order, but a graduation should be fun and exciting. Sitting there listening to 400 hundred names being called out in a monotone voice is so boring.
My suggestion is that they have the persons name show up on the screen and if you want to let out a little shout then so be it. Then if someone gets out of line just ask the person to leave - not be put in handcuffs, taken to the police station, jailed and fined.
That is ridiculous.
Think about it. There is serious crime going on and we had 10 or more policemen in the coliseum making sure no one yelled. Does that make sense?
Editor's note: The writer is a Fort Mill native who moved to Richburg in July 2007.