• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Quiet or gone

Former FWCS educator and administrator Eugene White continues to make waves as superintendent of the Indianapolis school system:

Hold your applause or you'll be thrown off the property.
That's the message Superintendent Eugene White is sending to the families of Indianapolis Public School graduates who will attend this year's commencement ceremonies.
White sent letters to graduates earlier this month informing them and their families about the new policy forbidding cheering during the reading of the graduates' names. The goal is to restore decorum to the ceremonies and make certain that every name can be heard.
White's letter reminds students that attending a graduation ceremony is a privilege, not a right. A spokeswoman for IPS said 30 school police officers will be on hand to enforce the rules.
"The graduation commencement is the completion of a 12-year program of study," White wrote in a list of guidelines. "It is a joyous time, a proud time and a formal time. It is not a party. It is not a pep rally."
At least some IPS parents think getting dragged out for being excited about a family member's accomplishment is spoiling the fun.
This seems a little over the top -- why not a letter just urging people not to cheer at individual names, without the threat of ejection? Or maybe I'm reacting based on my own high school graduation, way back when there was a little more decorum at such occasions; maybe things are that out of control these days. I do suspect the conflicting attitudes haven't changed -- schools see graduation ceremonies as solemn occasions, parents see them as celebrations, and the kids mostly endure them as best they can.
Posted in: Hoosier lore


Kevin Knuth
Tue, 05/22/2007 - 4:37am

My oldest son graduated from Northside in 2005.

At the start of the program, the class president took the microphone and asked everyone to refrain from shouting out when their loved ones names were called.

Of course, this did not happen.

Someone would shout out, and the ushers would ask them to leave. Towards the end, those that shouted out, would get up and exit without being asked.

The sad part? If folks were yelling support for John A. Smith, the parents of John B. Smith did not hear his name called.

The ejection does not bother me- it appears FWCS has been doing it for some time.

Bob G.
Tue, 05/22/2007 - 5:34am

Graduation USED to represnt one of life's milestones, and as such should present itself with (as you said) a level of "decorum".

Now, it's viewed (for the most part) as some "event" not unlike a playoff game or a (at worse) a pep rally.

Toss the ones out that detract from the ocassion.

One can "celebrate" without acting the fool...it's called self-control.
And it still works.


Tue, 05/22/2007 - 1:57pm

Carroll High School has demanded a peaceful, respectful graduation ceremony for some years and escort people out who fail to obey this. We'll be attending our last of three graduation ceremonies for Carroll on June 10 and I expect it will be like the other two.