Hold Your Applause- Or Else

Have you ever been to a graduation- high school, college or maybe even kindergarten- where there was some hollering and whooping or maybe even some inappropriate yelling from the audience? We've all been a part of an audience where something along these lines has happened and I'm guessing that, in most cases, it was nothing illegal or life threatening. After all, people get excited when someone they love has accomplished something great.

I have to say that I was shocked after reading an article titled 7 Busted After Cheers Erupt at SC Graduations. Arresting people for cheering?? Is this what high school graduations have come to? Seven people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for yelling after students' names were called. People had been advised, via letter, that they can be prosecuted for "bad behavior."

"For some people, it might be the only member of their family to graduate high school, and it was like a funeral in there," said one of those arrested. I thought that his choice of words were interesting- clapping or whooping would certainly be inappropriate behavior at a funeral, but at a celebratory event?

Last year in Illinois, five students did not receive their diplomas because friends or family cheered for them at graduation and were only given their diplomas after serving eight hours of public service for the school district. Who exactly are we punishing??

Call me crazy, but I think these schools and their policies are excessive. I understand that not everyone chooses to be respectful at graduations or other public events, but I don't think that jail for yelling or community service for others' yelling is the answer.

Comments? Experiences to share? Please feel free to weigh in on this issue- I'd like to hear some other people's reactions.



Hold your applause...or else!

I agree Julie! I recently attended the Fairport High graduation at the Blue Cross Arena. There were thousands of people there to watch more than 600 students cross the stage. We were warned about cheering and the use of devices such as airhorns. The airhorn ban I can agree with. But, the excuse that cheering would drown out the next student's name was absurd. The first student to cross the stage did so to silence and it was sad. No cheers, nothing. She probably wondered if she had any family there. It didn't last though. The cheering and whooping commenced along with the occasional rude noisemaker. But, all in all, it was pretty restrained. The person reading each graduate's name just waited a second for the cheering to die down before reading the next name. Not too difficult and the kids were thrilled to be recognized by the audience. What have we turned into that we can't cheer on the kids when they do so well? It's far more fun and memorable to celebrate together! Loosen up everybody!

Great comment Kathy!

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for sharing about your experience while attending Fairport's recent graduation. It sounds like the crowd at Blue Cross Arena managed to show their support in an appropriate manner (while avoiding getting arrested!). Amazing, huh?

One would think that we could find a happy medium between no celebrating and excessive or rude interjections. I think you hit the nail on the head with "loosen up everybody!"