WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Muting cheers makes graduation dour, not dignified

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What does it mean when parents are willing to get removed from their child’s high school graduation for cheering?

For the three I have attended in Wilson, it means they felt strongly enough about supporting and acknowledging their child’s accomplishment to be vocal about it. Literally.

Yes, it is a dignified affair. However, nowhere is “dignified” defined as stoic and threatening.

I have discussed this issue with a dozen others since Saturday, including one of the parents involved.

I was the dissenter, starting my defense with “If you let parents cheer, it will add two minutes for each child and it will take six hours.”

All agreed with the math, but disagreed with the equation.

It took only three seconds for the parent to verbally acknowledge her child Saturday, roughly as long as it took her to stand up, sit down and be asked to leave.

So much for the extra five hours.

Outside of church, this is the first really major milestone in most lives. For many students it will be the end of their formal education. Some will go on to work, some will join the military and others will just go on.

For some families it may be the first or the only child to graduate high school. The ceremony is for the kids, to show them that four years of hard work has a reward and part of that reward is their parents’ pride and joy.

It is also supposed to be fun and a relief. “I did it! I graduated!” Time to smile and enjoy the limelight.

Did you notice the pure joy on some of the kids’ faces?

Was it really that terrible to hear a mother’s cheer while her child walked across the stage?

Did justice prevail by seeing a proud mother surrounded by deputies and asked to leave — however politely?

Judging from the applause she received on the way out, it appears not.

The clapping from hundreds of parents as said offender walked out clearly demonstrated the overwhelming disagreement with the current policy.

It is time for the administration to revisit this policy with parents’ and students’ input.

Asking parents to limit their joy to standing up when their child walks across the stage is like asking a Marine to not bark “Ooh-rah” when they hear Semper Fi.

Thank God there was a Marine in the bleachers Saturday to remind us why we were there.

Tony Gaetano

Wilson

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