Editorial: Proper graduation spotlight

Apr. 29, 2014 @ 11:29 PM

Graduations are coming. We hope administrative backbone is on the way with them.

The ceremony to honor high school graduates is filled with tradition, with emotion and with celebration. There's a right way and a wrong way to mix them.

Foremost, we must remember the event is about the graduates, not us being able to be heard or seen. There is a time for applause, and even throaty appreciation.

The highest-ranking administrators have responsibility for proper etiquette. And everyone, from teachers to students to guests at the ceremony, must participate positively.

Not doing so is to disrespect those who have earned our utmost admiration — the graduates.

And not doing so should also earn a simple invitation out of the event that very moment. Security and school personnel are on hand — use them.

We are appalled when we see what may very well be the most significant occasion in a young person's life ruined and essentially deemphasized by someone, a guest of the occasion, trying to outshine the graduates.

Yes, we're naming the person clapping at the inappropriate time. Yes, the person with the air horn. Yes, the person shouting to their loved one during the processional, or worse, as the names are called to accept diplomas and the next person’s name can’t be heard.

When seniors are ready to march in, it is appropriate and expected that guests who are able be asked to stand. It is a significant sign of respect for the graduates.

And likewise, at the recessional, it is expected that guests will not leave, but will instead stand and watch the honored participants exit first.

For some, attending a graduation may be a first. That's why it is OK for guests to be given instructions before the event begins.

The hoots and hollers, the calling to loved ones — yes, we know they are loved and those attending are proud, but this is not about anyone in the grandstands. It is about the graduates.

That anyone would call attention to themselves on a day as significant as this is rude and unacceptable.

Times change and evolve. But we remain committed to expecting proper decorum at high school graduations.

Any Tri-County school and school system administration not in agreement will be failing their graduates.