South Carolina School Wants to Fine People for Cheering at Graduation
If you plan on going to the high school graduation ceremony at Greenville High School in Greenville, South Carolina this year, keep your mouths shut and your butts in seats, or else it could cost you. Literally, cost you money. The Greenville News is reporting that cheering at this years local high school graduation could result in a $1,030 fine.
At a recent school assembly, administrators told the students that if their families cheered during the graduation ceremony they could be fined for causing a disturbance. The school warned students that calling out, cheering, whistling, or applauding during the reading of names and presentation of diplomas would not be tolerated.
The school administration's thinking seems to be that because the ceremony is being held at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and is a "publicly sanctioned event" that the local police have jurisdiction over and could cite people for being noisy. That's their excuse anyways.
However, the local police take a different position. Sgt. Johnathan Bragg of the Greenville Police Department told the Greenville News that, "Screaming somebody's name or congratulating them, that's not a police matter...We would only get involved when it's actually a criminal matter. As far as charging someone for yelling, we have not done that."
Bragg added that they would also not be involved with removing people from the event, saying that the venue is the arena's property, and it's up to the arena's staff to ask people they don't want there to leave. If someone refuses to leave after being asked the cops could get involved. Or if someone was yelling obscenities. "That's a different story," Bragg added. "That would get into the 'disorderly' realm."
The school says that all this is because they want the graduation ceremony to be a dignified and respectful event. They add that too much cheering can cause delays in the ceremony and prevent people from hearing names being called out.
What a bunch of goofball stuff. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate another school for making things harder on themselves and now ensuring that their graduation ceremony will be a loud and rambunctious affair. Plus, all the attention will now, for sure, not be on the graduates. Oh and if they're lucky they'll make it out of this without being sued and costing the district a bunch of money over nothing.
Graduations have become one of the most pointless public events. Too many families of too many grads turn it into a seat-saving anxiety-fest that starts a boring and hot afternoon that lacks all substance. The grad don't even get the diplomas at the thing. How hard is it read the names, handout the fake diplomas and keep the show going while ignoring any crown noise? I hate to imagine what this school will do if the grads threw their hats!
It's great to be proud of your child. But, nobody cares but you. I'd hate to think that a student worked hard all those years and comes to discover that all their family cares about is hearing their name said over a PA system. The ceremony will be forgotten in less than a day. If people want to cheer, so what. Do the thing and go home and celebrate. High school graduation is not an end point. It's the beginning of the next phase of one's life. It's the start of the best part.
Source: Greenville News
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