Galesburg High Diploma Nazis: You’re Cheered at Grad Ceremony…No Diploma For You!

It’s just dumb. It’s petty. – Galesburg High School Honors Student

Associated Press
June 5, 2007 – TheScroogeReport.com Post

GALESBURG, Ill. – Five students denied diplomas after cheers erupted when their names were called at a high school graduation emerged empty-handed Tuesday from a meeting with school administrators.

The students and their families met briefly with Galesburg High School officials at an administration building, but they were again denied the diplomas because no one apologized to school officials for the cheers at the May 27 ceremony.

The students in the central Illinois town about 150 miles southwest of Chicago will still graduate and receive their transcripts, even if they don’t receive the keepsake diplomas.

School officials withheld the diplomas because they said the cheering violated a school policy aimed at restoring graduation decorum. Officials told the five female students and their parents Friday that they would hand over diplomas if they received apologies—even anonymously.

Read Full Story

Update: Galesburg H.S. Diploma Nazis Have Change of Heart, Give Students Their Rewards

Note: The Nazi reference in headline refers to the TV sitcom Seinfeld episode about a man called the “Soup Nazi” because of the strict ordering, often exclaiming, “No soup for you!”

This Week’s Top Scrooge: At Galesburg High, kids are kids and school officials are out of control 

86 thoughts on “Galesburg High Diploma Nazis: You’re Cheered at Grad Ceremony…No Diploma For You!

  1. I think the idea of not being able to cheer when someone receive thier diploma is dumb and inconsiderate on the part of the administration to try and inforce this policy. The administration needs to re-examine this policy, because the cheering does not make the graduation less respectiable it makes it more human. The administration need to stop making things so serious, graduation is a time to celebrate, a time for family and friends to show the graduate how happy they are to see they made it. Lighten up people!

  2. Those students did not deserve the diplomas or an apology – they and their friends were rude, inconsiderate and show no couth, class or character.

    They were obviously all raised on a farm and have no decorum or consideration for others that may wish to display maturity.

    Yeah, graduation is a special event – and should be treated as such – not like a World Wide wrestling match. Get some class.

    And, I know that the administrator was very clear to EVERYONE that NO yelling was accepted. They (the school system) should have just provided a photo copy and not the original. Better yet, why don’t we just not do the ceremonies any longer – after all – if you want your own party – you throw it the way you like to do it.

    The school does not owe you one thing.

    And for that sorry, no good, sarcastic attorney – up his.

  3. Part of the graduation ceremony is cheering for young people that accomplish a goal. No matter what it is. Just because their friends and family were excited they were punished? I think the next cheer should be when that “administrator” is fired and replaced by a human being instead of some a _ _ hole on a power trip. Obviously no one was proud about him/her when they graduated and they can’t stand it so they are retaliating for that now. Soundsd like some of the jerks that I worked with.
    This is the kind of things that make people angry and retaliate and do stupid things because someone on a powertrip has to “bully” there way.

  4. My daughter just had her college graduation. There was a small, token applause after each graduate had his/her name read. With 1,000 undergratuate and graduate degrees given out, there was no cat calls nor yelling/hooting. I think that the school made it clear with the contracts given out weeks prior to the graduation, that the school did not want a carnvial atmosphere. The attendees had a choice, not going and to be mailed their diplomas or to say to their guests/family, hey don’t come here today.

  5. This is completely ridiculous. How in the hell are the students supposed to control what the audience does? It is beyond assinine to expect that no on would cheer for the graduates. A graduation is not a funeral. It is supposed to be a celebration and recognition of achievement. Did the school officials really expect everyone to just sit there and be quiet during the entire ceremony? To expect that is to expect the audience not to be human. I have been to several graduation ceremonies and people ALWAYS cheer for their friends or loved-ones. It is a shame that the administration grudgingly gave the students their diplomas. With any luck some of that administration will lose their job over this debacle, because they’re taking themselves way too seriously.
    And I find it interesting that all the students whose diplomas were held, one of them an honor student, were all black. But no one is talking about that, right?
    And the previous poster needs to get the bug out of his ass. Does he actually approve of the students being punished because someone cheered for them? He’s a moron, with all his talk about “couth, class and character.” How is denying these students their due a show of class? If you want to demand that someone show class, you should start by showing some yourself. A graduation ceremony, although special, is not the end-all be-all of human existence. Get over yourself, clown!

  6. I’m sure polite appluse was permitted. It’s annoying, though when groups in the audience compete to see who can be the loudest. I’ve been at college graduations where the event went on for hours lengthened by friends and family acting like soccer fans.

  7. so lets see if I got this right, the school board said it is hard to graduate 300+ kids if they have to stop reading names every time some jackass who went to the dollar store and bought an air horn feels like “celebrating” by drowning out the speaker,so they told the students and families that they needed to be respectful of everyone and AFTER the last name was read go crazy, EVERY family and student signed a letter saying thatwas okay with them BEFORE the graduation. They then broke the rule, and they are pissed because they were held accountable, and by the way that high school is 70+% minority so I guess its not about black and white (p.s. the principal who made the decision=BLACK) so the final analysis the kids learned IGNORE the rules Threaten to sue and Win, oh yeah we live in a great country

  8. I too was recently at a fairly large graduation. Because of the numerous graduates, reading their names had to be moved along. There were probably less than 10 that had the kind of cheers that were distrupting of the ceremony, but the people reading off the names did not stop, so the names of the people after the cheers could not be heard. I think the policy of not handing out the diploma’s to the recipients at the ceremony should be enforced for future graduations. It should be made public, both printed and announced to the spectators, that any disruption for that graduate will mean picking the diploma up from the school at a later date. Not having a picture of the graduate recieving their diploma at the ceremony will surely deter this type of disruption.

  9. I noticed all of the students were African American. That is the only reason the White Adminstrators did it. They act if it is their job “Fix” the lively African Americans. Everyone knows the real deal. Just another example of people being mistreated by the Institutional KKK type members. But the problem is, these types of people exist in all of our organizations.
    The world will be a better place when these so-called leaders stop this underhanded and sneaky discrimatory actions. We will continue to have problems in our society until these people are exposed or they die and go to Hell.

    Thank you very much.

  10. Comment by Scott | June 7, 2007 …
    “They were obviously all raised on a farm and have no decorum or consideration for others that may wish to display maturity.”

    Thank goodness you were not raised on a farm, as I sure can see your maturity level quite clearly. Please Scott, raised on a farm?

    Students cannot control what the audience does. I am glad they received their diplomas.

  11. Yes, they were black. Any surprise? They keep finding more and more areas of life to destroy. Seems to me that blacks more than other groups disregard rules and decorum, then bitch and moan about unfair treatment when called upon to follow rules that most others obey.

  12. Well you know the old saying, you can take the person outta the hood, but you can’t take the hood outta the person.
    Keep your mouth shut, and follow the rules and none of this would happen.

    BG

  13. In this day and age when our young people need to be acknowledged for any positive thing they accomplished, I think it is rediculose that someone thought that cheering an accomlishment like graduating, (completing a task) did not deserve reconition. perhaps the school board would have prefered some form of sit in or other form passive acknolegement ???? that was really bizzare and the need to think about their motives. I was not about decorum !!!

  14. I have read the articlles on this denial of diplomas of these 5 students as well as the comments by others pro and con. The conclusion I have come to is this.
    1. The students earned there diplomas
    2. They shouldn’t have been punished for something they had no control over
    3. They deserved both their diplomas and an apology.
    4. The principal should have been the one who not only presented the diploma’s to them, but also done so individually or as a group.
    The lack of doing the later showed no class on the principal, who is a leader. The only reason I can see for the principal not presenting the diplomas is his lack of admitting both he and the rule ( as it was written was wrong.

  15. The school district has no balls. They had a policy and they should have stuck to it. It is about time the educators stop letting the uneducated, disrespectful parents dictate what goes on in the school. No wonder we are headed to being a Third World country. Galesburg, ILL. is where all those students will be for the rest of their lives slinging hamburgers at Mickey Dee’s…let Mom and Pop cheer about that.

  16. I find this whole thing rather interesting, it seems time and time again that school administrators feel they are god , i really wonder if the principal here takes this same hard line to the really important issues in his school such a drug use on school grounds that runs rampid in schools today , most likly this was done because it would give self satisfaction , one thing is for sure , good luck kids

  17. Grow up, join the real world. The school said no cheering as a respect other names being called out. That means NO CHEERING and respect other students. What can’t these little monkeys understand? When and if they get to a real job and the boss says “No blah, blah blah”, does this mean they can disregard rules? No, part of being in society is following rules, don’t they teach that in school anymore? Or does being black and obnoxious give you preferential treatment?

  18. I think the school did the right thing in withholding the diplomas because the families cheered. The graduation ceremony is becoming ridiculous the way some people are acting with air horns, cheering, etc. The decorum is missing when families interupt the proceedings. I have been to ceremonies where no one can hear the names being read because of the cheering for the previous student. I hate to say this because I am NOT biased, but it is true. The black students are usually the ones that get the cheering. The place to congratulate the student is AFTER the ceremony, not during the occasion.

  19. My kids are set to graduate from HS tomorrow. Do I expect there will be cheers and shouts of joy? OF COURSE! My kids are graduating from a High School where the administrators are on the worst power trip you have ever seen and feel it is their right and duty to control every aspect of the students lives on and off campus….I imagine that those who cheered in spite of their ‘marching orders’ did so as an act of defiance. I don’t blame them at all. No one is going to tell me I can’t cheer at my kids graduation! They are just lucky that the school district backed down to the lawyers letter and gave those kids their diplomas (that they obviously earned!). Our school district was sued and fought it like it was the end of the world!

  20. College graduations are for more mature people, and while the decorum at the college function is more respectful, we all have to admit high school graduates “just ain’t there yet.” The students, for the most part, don’t have that maturity – yet. And obviously, the high school graduation audience is not mature either. (Remember, maturity is not tied to age! Some 50-year olds act worse than 10-year olds. Has nothing to do with class, couth, or well, maybe it does have to do with character.) Comparing the two graduation exercises may not be quite fair.

    I have read here that folks have the right to cheer for their young friends accomplishing a goal. Absolutely correct.

    I have read here that the students cannot control the people in the audience, regardless of relationship to them. Absolutely correct.

    I challenge each of you to put yourselves in the shoes of the family of the next graduate following the cheering. Because of their cheering and disrespect for others in general, that next name was not heard. I have been to graduations where the next 3 names were not heard. What about the celebration of those families and friends? Where are their rights? Do you even care?

    Once again, I see a generation of ME. All about ME. No one matters but ME. Don’t take away MY rights, and it doesn’t matter whose rights are taken away in MY selfish demand of MY rights.

    You can’t tell me these cheering folks were not going to attend a celebration with their respective graduates elsewhere after the function. A little imagination to celebrate in that time and place can create a whole lot more recognition than cheering and cat calls while you stomp on other peoples’ rights. Or is that too much effort?

    Get a life, folks. When will you ever GROW UP? Perhaps the expectation of adults acting like adults may be a little too much for some adults to handle. And if this cheering and stepping on others rights is the example of how adults behave, these young adults will continue to be rude, inconsiderate and obnoxious when they attend graduations for their friends and family. It is self-perpetuating.

    I have no illusions that the school could ever enforce the decorum policy. Perhaps the behavioral contract should have been signed by each person walking into the function, or not admittance allowed. Of course, that would be yet another issue about ME and MY rights.

  21. There is cheering, and there is’cheering’. I would love to see a video of this audience. MY bet is that when these 5 were called, it wasn’t just cheering, but sounded like the audience of a Jerry Springer Show when a fight errupts on stage.
    The students completed their requirements. That should be enough. A long time ago, my High School made it clear about how the students and family would behave. I had 2 friends who chose to come to the front office to get their diplomas, and I respected them even more. It did not matter who handed them their diploma.
    Let the cheering and celebration occur at home, at a pary, or a rented hall if this diploma truly means means that much. But to many others, it is a serious moment. Respect what the majority believes in. Show me a poll of the families of all the students who recieved their diplomas. I would guess a majority would have felt the 5 students originally ‘got what they didn’t deserve’, and disturbed their child’s ceremony.

  22. The real issue is, as far as I am concerned is…that a rule was set in place and some felt they were above rules and cheered. I am sure there were other parents, family and friends who wanted to cheer for the graduate of their choice but didn’t because a rule had been set in place. Those who cheered and caused the disruption should be the ones to apoligise to everyone. Why do some feel they do not have to comply, even if they don’t agree? Work to change the ruling, but don’t cause this type of problem with blatant thinking, “well just watch we are going to cheer anyway”

  23. Respect, spelled out by a fabulous black woman, was what was lacking from those girls’ families/friends. Respect for other graduates and their families/friends. Graduation is a very special occasion, one that has been dignified since the beginning of such occasions. When the graduates are not in cap and gown, special clothing, decorum is warranted. Hoots and hollers are for the party. I am not very old (early 40s), but I see such a decline in the culture’s respect for special occasions. Politeness has also gone to the wayside. I don’t want our nation to become a nation of class-less, impolite fools! Aretha Franklin said it best,

  24. Someone needs to get a life! Those kids (all graduates for that matter) worked long and hard for at least 12 years to “walk the stage”. I can understand “dignified” but come on, BE HUMAN TOO!! We quickly cheered and cried when both of ours walked–it was a fantastic milestone in all our lives. Believe it or not, you can be both dignified and human at the same time. I say do away with the “dignity letter”, which by the way I’ve never heard of before, and continue letting them be human. It’s not like they’re having the party there. Just give them a few seconds to be acknowledged.

    Thank you.

  25. THE SCHOOL WAS RIGHT – THE KIDS, PARENTS AND LAWYER WERE WRONG – THE KIDS HAD TO FULFILL SOME HOURS OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND THEN WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THEIR DIPLOMAS – SCHOOL POLICY WAS KNOWN AND CONSEQUENCES AS WELL – I SUPPOSE THAT AS ONE WRITER PUT IT, WHEN YOUR KIDS ACHIEVES SOMETHING, IT IS OKAY TO CHEER. HERE’S TO WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS OF THE FUTURE – POM-POMS AND A PEP SQUAD.

  26. In ever graduation that I have seen where there are more than a few graduates, the person calling the names has to keep moving in order to get through all of them in a timely mannner. Therefore, this part of the reason that school officials ask that guests remain quiet during the ceremony. If one persons family is cheering then another persons may not even get to hear their child’s name called and they just sat through a long event for that one second and it was missed because some others took it upon themselves to make their child more important.

  27. I agree with scott. The parents FAIL to teach any type of decent behavior, just hold their hands out for “give me more”. I’m happy that they graduated, now it’s time to take control of you own life. Shakespear was right about what to do to lawyers.

  28. I agree with the administration. They told everyone ahead of time what the policy would be. Apologies should come from the audience members who cheered. They ruined it for the graduates. I have had three children graduate from high school and was annoyed by other people cheering for their graduates. I would like to enjoy the ceremony and hear the graduates’ names. The cheering can come after the ceremony is over.

  29. The last few graduations that I have been to, the request has been made to not cheer. It is a long process and lots of students to get across the stage and usually, there is a time limit that the school can have in the auditoriums in our area. There are always a few who do not listen and cheer. It is disruptive and shows their disregard for authority. This cheering thing was never done in the past. Let’s keep the dignity of the proceeding and save the partying for after the ceremony! The thing is, that most of the time, the cheering is done by undergraduates who are attending, not the family of the graduate. I think when this is the case, names should be taken and next year, appropriate punishment should be dealt out. That would put a stop to this kind of childish behavior.

  30. Graduation Ceremonies are a privelege and as such should require a certain amount of decorum at the CEREMONY. Whoop and holler and celebrate with family and friends later. Something hd to be done to get a handle on these graduation fiascos. First it was the clapping and cheering for each student that turned graduation into an hours long event. Then it was the rudeness of people leaving after THEIR graduate walked the line. I’ve seen mooners moon, mortarboards with F*** You Mountain View, graduates in only thong underwear (they were hot), barefeet and ragged jeans and the best was the graduation in the LA area where 30 plus cars opened their trunks in the school parking lot and blared music while hawking everything from teddy bears and perfumed plastic roses to tamales and corn dogs. There are few joyous occasions in life and lessons to be learned on how to act in public. Graduation are one such occurance. Remember students and parents always inform administration as to how to proceed.

  31. The current graduation ‘ceremony’ has been turned in to a joke by rude adults and has been for over 20 years. Most of the kids and parents don’t even know the definition of ‘ceremony’ anyway. Some of the church goers do have an idea. Do away with the ‘ceremony’ part so the ‘fan’ can have their ‘celebration’ instead.
    I always celebrated with my family and friends at parties.
    BUT here is a thought! Take that wasted rude behavior and use the energy to support these kids ALL THE TIME.

  32. For the school – perhaps for a year or two, maybe three, you hire enough policemen or security guards to patrol every aisle during the entire function. Anyone acts up, kick’em out. Embarrassment can work wonders.

    A few functions patrolled by these folks will restore decorum as adults finally grow up and understand they should act like adults. Then, you can do away with the guards.

    Just like teaching 3-year olds to behave. Keep watch on them to do things right, and gradually they will do things as they should without watching.

    It is a shame that the school has to teach adults how to behave. Don’t they have enough to do by teaching our kids?

  33. Having been to more than several of these – it is rarely just “cheering” and polite applause, etc. It’s usually complete lack of self-control, cat-calls, hooting, whistling and other animal behavior. No, the graduation ceremony isn’t the end all be all. But, these five kids and their families aren’t the end all be all. The problem isn’t the excitement over a loved one’s accomplishment. The problem is a complete disregard and disrespect for those around you. If I want to watch animal behavior, I’ll go to the zoo. These families owe the rest of their kids’ class an apology for thinking it was all about them and not thinking of other people around them.

  34. Is this school administration serious? I wonder if all the students that did not receive their diplomas were all black. The students deserve a written and verbal apology. I attended a graduation at the University of Chicago last year. They have a no cheering policy as well. The chapel was filled with cheering parents and relatives. The graduation students ranged from undergraduates, masters, and PHDs. Do you think this American institution with held their diplomas? NOT!!!

  35. Graduation ceremonies have become circuses. Considerate applause after each name called is acceptable. Rude, loud, boisterous families who, as the graduate takes the stage, stomp the floor, clap thier hands, blow fog horns, squirt sillystring, let balloons loose are disruptive to the ceremony. I’ve witnessed all of the above at graduations. It would be bad enough if it was just one family. Families try to out do the others. It demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the dignity of the ceremony and the graduating class as a whole.

  36. Enough with the race card. This isn’t about black or white, its about abiding with the rules, and suffering the consequences if you choose to break the rules. What message have these families sent their children??? That the rules apply only to others???? A graduation ceremony is meant to be a solemn occasion, not a WWF match with shouting and yelling. And now these families expect an apology from the school?? They are the ones who owe the apology; to the school administrators, and the rest of the graduates and their families. They knew the consequences of their actions. I am so tired of this attitude of entitlement. Then they threaten litigation. What intelligent person deliberately breaks the rules, and then threatens to sue?? And as usual, society gives in, because instead of accepting the consequences, threats are made, and it turns into a race issue. Everything is NOT about black and white, its about living with rules and laws, and having some respect. Not only did they insult the school, but also all the other graduates families who abided with the school rules. These people need to get over themselves, and show some reapect and dignity.

  37. Everyone is not taking into consideration why this rule was there in the first place. When the graduates name is called and their (inconsiderate) family members call out, The next graduates name can not be heard. I have had this happen to several of my kids and I couldn’t hear their name at all! I’m glad that this school is trying to control the situation. Do the math,if 500 graduates families delay a graduation for just 10 seconds it would add almost 1 1/2 hours to the cerimony.
    Hold the kids diplomas for a couple of days and then the principal (not a secretary) still needs to present them with a hand shake.
    He needs to show them that he is as proud of them as their families.

  38. My daughter just graduated from high school this week and the entire audience was respectfully asked to hold applause between names so that ALL graduates names could be heard. I would have been livid if after 13 years of struggling with putting my daughter through school, I didn’t hear her name announced due to some inconsiderate idiots in the audience acting as if their kid was more important.

  39. the school mailed to each student a letter explaining the consequences,so,if the parent(i doubt there were “parents”) bothered to read the letter,they would know THEY were responsible for their actions at the ceremony,NOT the child.Anpther case of a million small battles won,but losers in the big picture of life.

  40. R.Campbell, you need to realize that not everything has to do with the color of your skin! I’m sure they didn’t care is families clapped for their graduates, but when you hoop and hollar and carry on like a bunch of wild animals, it causes distraction and takes away from all the other graduates. If every family carried on like that, an hour long ceremony would last four hours. It’s ridiculous! You need to get a clue!!

  41. I agree that graduation ceremonies should be less noisy and more dignified. How you manage this is beyond me? My graduation (40 years ago) was just that; however, both my daughters’ graduations were chaos. No one could hear any names being called. Why not wait and have a rousing cheer after all the names are called. Can we just show a little self-discipline? And, by the way, why must we make everything a racial issue. Could it be that the five girls’ families were the noisiest?

  42. I think that the school should have stood up for their policy if they made it known before hand that there was to be no loud cheering. This kind of behavior is rude and inconsiderate to others. When my son graduated the school asked that there be no loud cheering but come graduation night who do you think we were unfortunate enough to sit in front of but a bunch of loud people who cheered for every student they knew. It happened that their daughter was oin front of our son and when his name was called we could not even hear it. Think how disappointed we were or how disappointed you would be to have missed such an occasion. The only way to avoid this would be to stop between each student until the cheering had died down so that the next person’s name could be called. Imagine the time it would take to do it this way. Cheering for accomplishments is OK but there is a time and a place for it. Afterwards, not during a ceremony. They people cheering should stop and think how they would have felt if the person before them was cheering and they could not have heard their students name. If this high school had stood up for what it had warned students about this year then perhaps next year they would not have had the problem. I feel for the students if they had warned the people cheering for them but I also feel for the families whose students followed them that did not get to hear the announcement of their childs name. If all applause and catcalls were held to then end then no one would have had to suffer. I think the school should have stood by their policies.

  43. I think it’s understtod that the students had no control over friends, classmates or relatives that may have applauded or cheered for them over their 12 year accomplishment. To attempt to punish them by holding back their diploma was a disgrace.
    The only positive thing to come from this was that the students stood firm and did not knuckle under and appologize for something they had no control over. After 12 years of studies, they now have something they can be most proud of—standing up to authority and winning! CONGRATULATIONS

  44. You have to be a complete idiot to think the Galesburg school officials had ANY right to deny diplomas to those students because of cheers and applause. Graduation is a major step for all of us and it should be cheered. I used to live in Galesburg and the town, along with most of central Illinois, is the most racially prejudiced place I’ve ever been. As for the guy who made comment #3(Scott), you must’ve been born and raised by bigots as well because your comment was a waste of font and obviously, there was no thought involved when you typed your statement.

    To Hell with all bigots and rascists…it’s 2007….we should have learned from history. This is just another example of bigotry and violation of civil rights. These students should sue the Galesburg school district on general principle alone!!

  45. ARE YOU SERIOUS???????

    Finally after sooooooooooo much hardwork and dedication a student isn’t allowed to be cheered for??!!! What kind of bs is that?! I think it’s ridiculous and the school should offer an apology and the rule should be subtracted from school policy. It is important for young people to be celebrated for their accomplishments so that they can use that as motivation to continue in their future endeavors.

    I SALUTE CLASS OF 2007 WITH MUCH APPLAUSE AND NOISE!!!!

  46. The lawyer is a grandstanding idiot. The parents and the students need to grow up and face their responsibilities and act like adults. The cheering and disruption caused the ceremony to run longer, delayed presentation of diplomas to the other students. Yes Graduation is a celebration, but it is an organized practiced event. If there was no cheering section during the practice, there should be none during the ceremony.

    As to the parent who was “disappointed” that a mere secretary handed her child the diploma, I would have thrown it onto the floor and let the parent or child pick it up.

    The kids signed contracts, they were the ones who had control of the tickets to the graduation ceremony. If they could not properly screen their guests, it is time for them to accept the consequences.

  47. This is very simple. The cheering drowns out the name of the next graduate. It’s not fair to that student to have their name not herd by their family. I’ve seen it happen several times. It is typical of our society now. It’s all about me. ME! ME! ME!. No consideration for anyone around you.

  48. This whole incident is just another example of how this country is decayingand becoming a land of “just do whatever you wish at the moment”.
    There was a rule broken and there should be consequences.
    The fact that the school backed down because of whining
    further exemplifies the rot that is pervading this wonderful country.
    Personally, I woulod have put their deplomas in the shredder and been done with it.

  49. I completely agree with Scott. These students were aware that there was to be no yelling, hooting,uproars, etc. Why these students feel that they can get around the rules is beyond me. That is what is wrong with children today. They think they do not have to follow the rules and regulations set by others. Their parents come running with lawyers and get them out of the situation. REDICULOUS!!! They can celebrate AFTER the celebration. When I graduated there were screams and cheers for some students. I remember when one name was called screams and cheers went so long and loud that the next person called could not hear her name on stage. I am sure her family missed it too. NOW IS THAT FAIR???!! NO!
    R Campbell….don’t pull the race card!! What if they were all White, Asian, Hispanic, etc. It would not be mentioned either. What matters is that these students DID NOT follow the policy and for that they should be punished. NO DIPLOMAS FOR YOU RUDE INCONSIDERATE CLOWNS!! Your families and friends should be punished too! They ALL knew the policy. SHOW SOME CLASS and dont act like a bunch of wild children! How can we expect children to follow the rules when their family treats it as a joke?!?

  50. After reading the the article and some of the blogs, it angers me that people in this country are so racist. In the article it made mention that the five students (who are miniorities) weren’t the the only students who received cheers. If you are goning to enforce policy you must enforce on all who violate it and not some because they happened to be of different race and for bloggers to state they are animals and have no class make them just as racists as the enforcers. I have been to many different types of ceremonies and the same announcement is made to hold all applause to the end and as what happened in Galesburg, people still clap, white, black, hispanic, an so on and not one child or adult was denied what they worked so hard to receive.

  51. This is just another symptom of our disappearing values and culture in the US. We will soon be just another uncivilized third world country. When parents and teachers no longer teach and enforce values and good behaviour, this is what we get.

  52. Graduation at any level is not a carnival. It is the recognition of hard work, well done in most cases. Part of schooling is to educate young people to all aspects of the world. Learning appropriate behaviors for particular settings is part of this.
    From what I read, the school system had informed parents of what the policy is regarding graduation behavior. This policy was most likely put into place because of the lack of respect shown at previous graduation ceremonies by both students and parents. And not only in the south…we in the north have dealt with this, too.
    We are supposedly a classless society (a society favoring social equality)…no kings, queens, dukes, or duchesses…BUT does this mean that we must turn into a CLASS LESS (as in having no sense of correct behaviors).
    I am frustrated. I believe that black people have earned, more than earned, their place in American society. So why is it…again…black students and their parents who had such a hard time understanding that there is a time and place for appropriate behavior. AND, in the real world, there are consequences when certain lines are crossed.
    I also feel that even though they would never admit it…children are protective of their parents…these students were totally embarrassed by their parents’ behaviors at one of the most important nights of their lives. And the behaviots of the parents left the CHILDREN with a problem to solve. The parents already had their diplomas (hopefully)…and yet were willing to jeopardize their children’s diplomas…all for the sake of being “rebels with a cause.”
    That being said, of course they earned their diplomas. I agree also that the principal should have handed them their diplomas as they came into the office. It would have been a chance, perhaps, for a dialogue that might have influenced both sides…for the better.

  53. today it is a big accomplishment that a student graduates, a little higher applaud and cheer is okay, but nothing to over the top…

  54. As a Youth Minister I have great respect for teenagers and when given the rules most of them follow them. I agree that the teens can no controll their guests but out of respect for the graduate the guests should follow the rules. My daughters graduation was such a circus that she hated it and the behavior of the crowd and students was well out of control. I believe as others do SAVE THIS FOR A PARTY and enjoy the dignity and specialness the school wants to give you for a job well done. 12 years of hard work deserves special treatment and acknoledgement from their teachers and school. Then let the party begin. Parents the students deserve the honors they get treat them with class!

  55. The school commitee admitted the rule was wrong.who do the school administraters work for schools are failing to teach because the administration is locked into a power struggle.socialism is the name of the game. the people are asked to pay for third rate education.some one should let the schools know the education system is broken.its broken because the previous 2 generations were tought to care nothing about others or to have respect.

  56. For those folks who think the school over-reacted, let’s pretend you’re attending your kid’s graduation ceremony. He/she worked hard for a lot of years, and now’s the time for acknowledgement of that labor. You patiently wait for your child to walk up to the stage and his/her name to be announced. But, unfortunately, the kid in line in front of yours has boors for parents/relatives/friends. When that kid’s name is announced, his/her entourage starts whooping and hollering. By the time it dies down, you realize your kid’s name was called, but no one got to hear it because of a bunch of insensitive louts.

    THAT is why the school set down some reasonable rules.

    The rules weren’t a secret. When the students handed out passes to the ceremony, they had a responsibility to tell those people to follow the rules. The students that were denied their keepsake diplomas in this case should be ashamed by their parents’/relatives’/friends’ behavior. If they want the keepsake diplomas bad enough, there’s nothing stopping them from borrowing a friend’s and having a printshop duplicate it.

    Each and every graduate deserves the respect of those assembled. Keeping your pie-hole shut when names are being read is the bare minimum.

  57. What are we teaching our children when our schools ask us as adults to show restraint, we agree, and then we not only disregard the agreement, but we make a federal case out of the consequences that we knew were coming? As a people we are amazingly immature and thoughtless. Is everyone entitled to behave in any way that they please?

    It’s amazing that anyone can condone the behavior of graduation audiences that hoot and holler, showing no consideration for anyone but themselves. I too have been to several graduations that were more irritating than celebratory. It’s clear that some people are missing the difference between polite behavior and self-indulgence. What if everyone in the audience carried on in the same manner? You’d have to pack an overnight bag for most graduation ceremonies.

    And please, not the race card again. That is really getting old.

  58. Yeah, you know after reading all these blogs, I agree. Lets just call a spade, a spade. It is all about race. Its no coincidence that ALL five of these students were black. Typical. Their “poor, pitiful me” attitude, also typical. The school districts caving in to the 5 blacks, typical. Once again, history repeats itself. Should we be so shocked?

    Bottom line, rules don’t apply to blacks, especially if they have a lawyer.

  59. Having been to several graduations over the last year I was glad to see a schooltake the position it did- families are out of control and there needs to be some guidelines and enforcement. I applaud the district for taking a step in the right direction- now if we could only get rid of the lawyers who want to blame everyone else (not just in this siuation) when their client (or client to be) has violated a rule…. Let’s bring some dignity back to America!

  60. Anyone ever think about someone in the audience deliberately yelling to get the graduate in trouble because they may be at odds with the graduate?

  61. My gradnddaughter, an honor student attended headstart, kindergarten and 12 years of school. She worked diligently 14 years to earn that diploma. 14 years is longer than some people stay on a job or in a marriage.

    I wish we could meet somewhere in between with the applause or something.

  62. If I hear one more thing about “poor me, I am black” I think I will puke! GET OVER YOURSELVES! In my 36 years the most racist people I know are black people!

    Someone so greatly put it, what is lacking in society is RESPECT. We do not raise our children to have respect for anything. It’s all about touchy feel good when what they probably needed a long time ago was a good paddling on their backsides!

    I just went to my step-daughters graduation at a private christian school and was so appalled I will be writing a letter to the administration. Referring to their teachers by their last names without the Mr, Mrs in front of it. One student rambled on for 20 min about how he was HOT and thanks to the teachers who let him skip class and not get in trouble. How his grades sucked. The students dressed in shorts, jeans etc. It’s disgusting. People paid $5000 a year for their students to come out of school with no manners or respect and not much for an education.

    Society is so far gone now that you can rant and rave all you want on here but these people will never get it. Just go home and make sure you raise your own children with the utmost of respect and the idea that you must work hard, nothing is free. If it’s free, don’t take it….lol! It does not matter where you are from or what color your skin is, you can choose to live differently and respectfully.

  63. I have been to many graduations and it is annoying to hear the air horns and screaming especially when your sitting in front of them. I’ve missed the names of graduates because these audience members thought their graduate was more important than everyone else. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. Everyone is proud of their loved one. Act like civilized adults, not animals.

  64. The questions here is not whether the graduates and families had the right to celebrate. There is a breakdown in our society of proper respect for others. The students unfortunately are penalized because of the actions of thier families. However, something should be done. No apology was necessary. These people violated the request of the administration. Oddly, there were only a handful of students who were denied thier diplomas. So, that means that the overwhelming majority of the people present had the decency to respect all the graduates. We have become a society of “That’s not fair to ME!” And just because an attorney can manipulate the process and make himself look good does not make it morally correct. These people were rude, exhibit poor behavior and then cried injustice. I congradulate the students on thier graduation, but I am saddened by the lesson they learned. “You can have the rules changed for you if you cry – NO FAIR.” No one is saying you can’t applaud and be happy for your child. But, the catcalls, and lowbrow noise makes it difficult for other people at the event to enjoy hearing thier graduate’s name announced. These people forgot that fact. Shame on them and the attorney who “took thier case without pay.” He was paid. You all make me sick.

  65. Those accusations of prejudice of color don’t even care that the administration was black with 70% a minority class at ceremony, where is the discrimination from this black principal?

    Any large graduating class ceremonies should have the proper ettiquite to allow a short token applause after each name is called, but to disrupt the ceremony with air horns, cheering and hollering dancing in the aisle whooping it up like a war party should not only disbar that student from recieving their certificate onstage, but swift enforcement should have escorted out those that were interrupting the ceremony and charged with disorderly conduct.

    Party’s are to be after a cival awards and presentation of certificates earned, regardless of the difficulty7 involved to attain this accomplishment. To disrupt the ceremony for not only the other well behaved students and families should have had much stiffer penalties than withholding the certificates, and distributing them in office by secretary.

    Apologies are in order by those that disrupted the ceremony after paying the fine for disorderly conduct!

  66. There is no comparison between a high school and college graduation…I’ve been to both with all four of my kids. There is more decorum at a college ceremony because most of those who got the outrageous “cat-calls” at the high school one never make it to the college one.

  67. They “signed” an agreement to be quiet. The reason for this agreement is because for some reason blacks are unruly loud! they can’t walk the street without YELLING at someone at the other end of the street. This really gets on my nerves. Yelling, BOOM BOOM BOOM driving up and down the street and their pants falling off. Walking, but cellphone to the ear. They should be working! I work from home so the noise they put me though is unbearable at times. This is the US not africa, if they want to act like monkies go back to africa. I don’t dislike or hate blacks, just their loud and monkey like personalities. If you want to be treated as a regular person, act like one. There is white trash too! along with black trash and good clean respectable blacks. Every heritage has their trash. But blacks (some) need to calm it down and try to act like normal people. Some people are a cancer on society. Clean up the view!

  68. WOW !! I have never heard of such stupidity. These kids deserve to be cheered !! Graduation is an accomplishment and an honor. Cheering has always been part of the ceremony and I think the school went way overboard. You better believe I cheered for my kids because I was very proud of them. And how can the student be held accountable for something someone in the audiance did ? Even with such a rule there are bound to be visitors that cannot contain their joy and excitement. Those students deserve an apology.

  69. “I wish we could meet somewhere in between with the applause or something.”

    If it had been simple, restrained applause, I don’t think there would have been an issue. But you DON’T make noise that even comes close to overlapping the reading of the next graduate’s name. With usually hundreds of graduates to come up, accept the keepsake diploma and have their names read, there isn’t time to stop the show just because of loud, boistrous or outright rude behaviour. Save the whooping and hollering for afterwards.

    It comes down to respect for others. The parents in this case didn’t show it, and deserve no apology.

  70. I don’t havea lot to say regarding the incident, but here is what I do have. I do think they deserve an apology, because they were deprived of their diploma, and the after graduation parties that followed. It is a dillusion on the part of the school district to think that the students have control over their guests. You can tell them what is protocal but that is as far as you can go. Do they not know that the only person that you can control is yourself. We have no real control over no one else behavior to include our own children.

  71. An attorney says he took the parents’ case “for no pay”?? HA!! You can bet he meant just for now. He’ll collect his 40% from the settlement.

  72. As a parent of 5 I must say I agree with the School on this one! At every graduation we actually missed our childrens names because of rude stupid parents and friends of others. Graduation should be a ‘class act’! Not a ‘Rock Concert or Side show event! But that is exactly what some have turned it into. It is always announced before that everyone is to wait and applaud at the end. But some people think the rules don’t apply to them and do what ever they want! They don’t care that we have waited on this for 12 years!! And then it is ruined because of them!!

  73. Shame that if Eric Thomas could take the time to notice the 5 students involved were all black could not also notice the principal of the school was also bleck and it was he who set the rules and made the decision.

    Come on Eric are you another Reverand Al Sharpton? This is about the School backing down from standing for a principle that the rules were right, and the system cave d into this mealy mouth accusation of race baiting.

    The offenders that disrupted the award ceremonies should have been arrested for disorderly conduct immediately and that would have stopped the interutptions.
    I have attended graduating classes of over 1,000 people with mixed races as much as 60% minorities and disruptions were not allowed.

    Being a certain color white or black dosen’t give one authority to be an asshole, and if you are guilty of disorderly conduct you should be arrested.

  74. I am appalled that the majority of persons participating believe that the graduates who were denied their diplomas should get an apology. It is the students and their families who need to apologize to the other students and the faculty/administration. Two years ago I went to my son’s fifth grade graduation, and the cheers of certain children’s families drowned out the names of the next child. It was extremely RUDE, and as in this instance, it was only the African American students’ families who acted in such a way. It was quite obvious that this was not accepted decorum, but three different families acted out. The next year, a note went out to the parents that there would be no cheering. It is always the misbehavior of a few which create the necessity of making rules for the the majority. Yes, each graduation is an occasion for celebration, but why do “the few” think that they can ruin it for everyone else – and they should get an apology? We have created this “me first” mentality in our society, where the “minority” rules. It is time for the pendulum to swing back in the other direction. This is just a small example of what is happening on a large scale in our entire country.
    M. Montgomery

  75. I do think the “adults” did not act like adults, but to punish the student is going too far. The adults should be the ones in the hot seat. It is nice to clap for the graduate, but not to holler, blow air horns, and get totally out of hand. When we went to our daughter’s graduation last year some of the adults were out of hand. The principal asked at the beginning to wait for the applause till all the names were announced and when your graduate’s name is announced for that group to stand up. Course there were over 600 graduating, so some were a little hesitant to wait. It is only fair to the students/graduates and the audience if the adults would mind. Maybe they should go to Etiquette School? I don’t think this is a racial issue as some have said; it is a matter of etiquette.

  76. could have told you they were black they are the only ones that think the rules do not apply to them

  77. “Diploma Nazis?” Hardly. The school board came down on the side of decorum and on behalf of the graduates (and their famiies) who want to hear their names announced as they receive their diplomas. The Master of Ceremonies can hardly stop until the cheers die down – the ceremony would take forever – so the only reasonable thing is to insist that cheering not occur.

    Incidentally, did the families who cheered realize that they were, in effect, announcing that their graduates did so poorly that their graduation was problematical? They were actually denigrating the poor kids, not celebrating their graduation.

  78. Graduation Cermonies no longer have the dignity and meaning that they once had … and it is largely because of the lack of decorum and civil behavior of students and audience. Air horns, beach balls, silly-string, shouting, etc. are for birthday parties and “hang-loose” events … not for “pomp and circumstance” cermonies. I’m disappointed that the Galesburg School Board has knuckled under. The policy had been announced in advanced and people were warned. What does it take to get people to act with a little dignity. Dignity and civility is all but gone from our society. Graduation ceremonies used to involve some respect, but now it’s down the tubes. Why not just remove the caps and gowns, let the kids wear the shorts, tee-shirts and jeans that hang below their butts that are under the gowns and let ’em take over with the “new freedom” …which is contributing to the downfall of our society. Tolstoy traced the history of 21 civilations …of which 17 of them fell not from attack from others, but from corruption and downfall from within. We’re on the same track. Don’t expect to celebrate a 300th anniversary of this country. We won’t be anything like the great nation we started out to be. I’m just glad that I’m old enough I won’t be around, but I fear for my children and their children.

  79. As a mom of two girls, who successfully made it through H.S. I earned the right to whistle, shout with glee and do the ole’ arm thingy… you know the one that you do your elbow in a circular motion going “whoop whoop whoop”. I put up with 12 years of PTA, BORED MEETINGS (OOPS I mean Board Meetings), Parent Teacher Conferences…. etc. i raised two delightful adults and have earned the right to vocalize my delight! Shame on that nasty old boring school district. You owe those kids a great big apology – and the proud mammas and pappas tooooo

  80. America needs to start enforcing it’s rules and holding people accountable- I hope it adds a new rule NO MORE LAWYERS!!!!

  81. I have a solution. Two ceremonies, and you pick the one you want. The choices are: 1. anything goes, 2. respect for others.

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