June is graduation season, and Static, as recipient of a fair share of invitations and writer of resulting checks, figures it gets to make a couple of suggestions. Yeah, you new grads are hearing a lot of this, so you’ll be happy to know we’re talking about parents, not kids, this time.
Over the years the nature of the grad ceremony has changed. What used to be a formal and somewhat reverent rite of passage has now become more of a sporting event. For instance: At the Arlington Heights High School graduation ceremony over the weekend, at TCU’s Daniel Meyer Coliseum, the program pamphlet asked parents and family members to refrain from applause until after all the diplomas were handed out. Maybe the parents couldn’t read. Pomp and Circumstance turned into Rude and Obnoxious.
In Static’s section, it was almost as if the families were having a contest as to who could whoop and holler the loudest. Some seemed to be doing their own version of a touchdown celebration, jumping up and down, performing smooth dance moves, and high-fiving anyone within three seats or three rows. The lady sitting behind Static had a yell like an air-horn, which was let loose only when her cell phone was pulled away from her mouth.
Not to sound like Grandpa Abe Simpson here, but this wasn’t an Ultimate Fighting match where the kids got their diplomas inside the octagon. High school graduation is about the kids enjoying the moment and their families being proud in the background – emphasis on in the background. But in this age of me-me-me, the idea instead seems to be on whatever rowdy behavior it takes to get noticed. And the parents wonder where their kids get it.
On that same topic of poor role models, Static got a copy of a letter recently sent out to parents of South Hills High School students. The school didn’t hit the state’s performance goals, so parents have the option of transferring their kids to another school next year.
If they’re wondering why South Hills might be under-performing, parents should read the letter closely. It says kids can transfer to schools that are “Academically Acceltable.” Improvement for South Hills will involve “tutors assistingteachers in the math classroom and tutoring after schhol and on saturdays.” The school will also promote “effective teaching stategers.” Static knows all too well that typos can happen, but please – at least hit the spell-check button.
Still, South Hills’ problems aren’t nearly as embarrassing as what happened this month at a high school in Ohio. At the graduation ceremony, students were handed diplomas that were approved by the “board of educaiton.” Maybe the school should have hired the valleydiktorian to do the proofreading.