The past several weeks have seen newspaper articles, letters to the editor and TV clips regarding behavior at graduation ceremonies. In some extreme cases, graduates weren't allowed to receive diplomas or guests were arrested for behavior more appropriate at sporting events. The problem seems to be adult behavior that causes kids to be embarrassed or penalized.
A solution was evident at the graduation ceremony for Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights earlier this month. Just before the presentation of diplomas, the principal, Mr. Brian Kaye, asked the audience to be respectful of the graduates and each other. In return, he promised that as each of the 10 homerooms returned to their seats, diplomas in hand, we in the audience would have a chance to, in his words, "let it rip" with all the enthusiasm we could muster.
Guess what? It worked! Were there a few in the audience who couldn't restrain themselves? Of course, human nature being what it is. But over 250 kids received their diplomas in record time and they each had their special moment at center stage. Thanks TMS!