A Thought about Graduation Cheering
So, it seems cheering at graduation ceremonies has entered the sphere of common conversation. First, there was the removal of students celebrating their Greek fraternity dances at a University of Florida graduation and now a South Carolina High School has warned parents of graduates they could be fined $1030.00 for breaking a “no-cheering” rule.
I personally don’t know enough about either of these situations to speak authoritatively. When I graduated from High School a security guard had to physically restrain my parents during their celebration!
But I am sure they were glad to see me walk. I was happy too since school administrators, challenged with overcrowding, had given our class the option of graduating a semester early.
Best Christmas present I ever received!
I do remember, when our children graduated from High School, on both occasions there were families around us who cheered for their students. Some talked loudly during the ceremony until it was time for their students to walk across the stage. Then, after their moment of celebration, they continued their conversations as they exited early.
I thought that was rude and thoughtless.
Not the cheering (even though they had been asked not to by the administration), but the disregard for the accomplishments of others.
However, with this said, I would like to suggest there could actually be some troublesome reasons behind our silence at graduations.
For us rule-keepers, that is. In other words, if we are going to keep the rules and restrict our celebrations to the time appointed by those in charge, we need to make sure our hearts are pure in doing so. Here are some possible flaws in our thinking to guard against:
We are not going to cheer because we want to demonstrate we are better at keeping the rules. It is easy to fall into this trap if we focus too much on the rule breakers. When we do, our non-celebration becomes just as much a cry for attention as those celebrating.
We are not going to cheer because we always knew our student would graduate. Maybe we did! But we need to realize a lot of things could have happened along the way. If our child was blessed with a good mind, and was fortunate enough to avoid sickness and tragedy, we should be thankful. Milestones in life should never be assumed. They should be cause for thanksgiving, regardless of whether or not we cheer at a graduation.
We are not going to cheer because we wouldn’t even if there was no rule against it. We just aren’t that kind of family. If this is the case, I would like to recommend you rethink your practice. Sure, every family has its own personality, but kids today need to be cheered on, especially when they achieve something important.
I think it’s alright not to cheer if you are attempting to follow the wishes of the school administration and you are concerned students who have no one there to cheer for them will feel left out.
If you are sitting on your hands and biting your tongue because you are so proud of your student you can’t stand it!
This was my style.
And for those of you who refuse to keep the rules and insist on cheering, I have a request: Stay for the whole ceremony and cheer for everyone. If it’s important for your student, it’s important for every student. Use your cheering skills to bless others.
Maybe that’s the answer!
We insist that everyone “must” cheer, for “everyone!”
I thought since we now have one more thing to pull us apart as a community we might as well try it.