"Lots of parents complained that they could not hear their own child's name called," said Joel Estes, Galesburg's assistant superintendent. "And I think that led us to saying we have to do something about this to restore some dignity and honor to the ceremony so that everyone can appreciate it and enjoy it."
I can agree with this tactic for those who cannot comply.
In Indianapolis, public school officials this year started kicking out parents and relatives who cheer. At one school, the superintendent interrupted last month's graduation to order police to remove a woman from the gymnasium.
But this just seems stupid.
Gayles was one of five students denied diplomas from the lone public high school in Galesburg after enthusiastic friends or family members cheered for them during commencement.
And this seems even more stupid.
Meanwhile, the school said the five students can still get their diplomas by completing eight hours of public service work, answering phones, sorting books or doing other chores for the district, situated about 150 miles southwest of Chicago.
Unfortunately, the group that seems to make the most sense here is the ACLU.
American Civil Liberties Union spokesman Edward Yohnka said Galesburg's policy raises no red flags as long as it is enforced equitably. "It's probably well within the school's ability to control the decorum at an event like this," he said.
I guess the issue, then, isn't if the school can do this, but whether they should.
Is anyone in this situation acting like an adult?