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Let's All Be Respectful At Graduation - Commentary on 2012 GBN Graduation

Thoughts on Respect for All Who Attend a Graduation

This past Sunday over 500 young men and women graduated from Glenbrook North High School, one of the strongest and most respected academic high schools in the area.  It was a beautiful day and there were thousands of family and friends on hand to witness and watch the procession at Glenbrook North High School in the Sheely Center for the Performing Arts.  

The event usually takes about 90-120 minutes to complete as speeches are shared and each graduate walks the stage to receive a diploma and hand shakes from the principal and school board.  It's a lovely ceremony and I have been honored to witness two of my students now in this ceremony.

Prior to the ceremony unfolding, the principal of the school requested all audience members to hold applause or cheering until ALL graduates had been announced and walked the stage.  This instruction was given out of respect to allow all names to be heard and not drowned out by cheers for a prior graduate.  Additionally, the instructions are given to help the ceremony move along and not become a four to five hour event.  

Once the names started to be announced, several families found it necessary to ignore the instruction and began cheering for their graduates.  After one third of the names had been announced, the principal decided to stop the ceremony and make the announcement again so that all could enjoy the event without distraction.  It seemed rather clear at the time his instructions were there to help all enjoy and give respect to the students who had all worked hard to receive this moment.

However, within 3 minutes of his announcement a family located near me decided they were above this rule and let out a loud cheer and holler for their student as he walked the stage.  Within minutes others were following their obstinate and rebellious lead.  Although the ceremony proceeded, it became apparent some in the audience could not contain themselves or respect the greater number present for the ceremony.  

Why do some feel the need to be special and disobey rules such as these at moments like this?  In this same light, I read in South Carolina of a women who was arrested for this same action.  Her charge was disorderly conduct.  Disorderly conduct is a good description to describe the actions of these few who have chosen to stand out and be special in this instance.  Perhaps, a few policemen stationed along the wall of the Sheely Center would stop the disorderly conduct.  However, I don't think we really need to go to that extent.  

Let's just try to do better and SHOW SOME RESPECT TO THE RULES!  It's not hard to be silent and wait until all have been mentioned and then let out the loudest hoot and holler one has ever heard. 

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David Petrich June 07, 2012 at 03:26 PM
well said
GBN Alum June 07, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I too was at the ceremony, and was disgusted by the behavior exhibited by some of the families there. It's obvious that those people who chose to ignore the rules are just too stupid and self-centered to see that not only does yelling reflect poorly on them for failing to follow simple instructions, it has the opposite effect of embarrassing the graduate they are there to celebrate.
Amy Oberholtzer June 07, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Respectfully may I add that it is not only about "respecting the RULES", but respecting people in general. It sounds to me like those of you who chose to act out with hoots and hollers not only showed utter disrespect for Paul Pryma and the graduation ceremony, but disrespect for your fellow graduates and their families. Think outside of your own skin and past the end of your own noses....it does good and it might feel good, too.
M Berman June 08, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I respectfully agree with those I individuals by sayings that those who oot and holler are such poor role models to their families and children. If their children can follow the rules and behave while on stage than so can they in the audience. Personally I think that it was of utmost disrespect to the graduates and to mr pryma and I feel that asking them to leave the graduation ceremony would be a proper consequence. If there is no consequence then this behavior will continue to happen.
Debbie June 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM
I agree with all the comments. I was there as well and was embarrassed for my student and fellow graduates. This is a time in their lives where they are learning to be called "an adult" and this is what they see from "adults" in the audience. I hope Mr Pryma continues to put his foot down so to speak and maybe escort some of the adults in the audience to the exit door next year

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