Friday, June 5, 2015

It’s that graduation time of year; should we call the cops more often?

High schools and colleges all over the place have had their commencement ceremonies; which leads to an annual problem.

School's commencement gained more attention than athletics
How to deal with those self-absorbed people who can’t control their behavior during a ceremony.

PARTICULARLY THE ONES who think the ceremony is all about their kid; without regard for anyone else around them or any of the students – for whom the ceremony is just as important for them as it is for you.

This issue popped into my head Thursday morning while watching the HLN cable channel, and Robin Meade (I need my daily dose of news from her to start my day) gave her accounting of the Senatoba High School ceremonies where four people wound up being kicked out because their screaming and cheering became disruptive.

So disruptive, in fact, that  somebody, perhaps with the school, filed a complaint with the local police.

Arrest warrants were issued!

THE FOUR PEOPLE, according to WREG-TV in Memphis, now face disturbing the peace charges. They will have to show up in court on Monday, and could wind up paying $500 fines each.

Robin, whom many of us will remember from her Chicago days with WMAQ-TV, seemed to imply she thought certain people were a little too uptight, what with feeling the need to call the police.

The people now facing charges seem to think say, telling their local television station that all they did was called out their kid’s name when she was called on stage to receive that diploma she he worked for so hard in recent years.

Now I realize for some people, particularly those who come from families where college attendance is a new experience, and even high school graduation is noteworthy, there is a need to make a big deal out of those few seconds of a graduation ceremony where the focus is on you.

I RECALL MY own college graduation having both my parents and my step-mother on hand, along with a brother and step-sister, my grandmother and a pair of step-grandparents. Along with several uncles and aunts.

There also was a step-great-grandmother who a week later rather vividly expressed to me her regrets that she couldn’t be part of the festivities on that day I became a college graduate and over-educated unemployed bum. For the record, I began working at a Chicago Heights-based newspaper eight days later.

So I get the idea that it’s a big deal, one of those rare moments that comes along in a family’s overall story! I have no problem with the idea of celebration, or ceremony or ritual. It’s not like commencement is a funeral.

Perhaps we'd be a better world if we all began the day with Robin Meade
But every single ceremony I ever participated in included a vocal announcement to the spectators to try to control their behavior. Why should someone else’s few seconds of the spotlight be drowned out because somebody else called just before them couldn’t pipe down.


In fact, I remember being mocked by my step-mother’s father for a few days following the ceremony because of how well my college graduating class and their families were behaved.

So I’m inclined to think that if this particular group of people got the cops called on them, maybe they did something out-of-the-box. Or else put up such resistance to being removed from the premises that a school official felt compelled to “drop the dime” on them.

Then again, I’m also willing to concede that perhaps there is a high school administrator who gets a little too uptight about trying to control every little detail of life; resulting in the call to police and creating an incident that has given Northwest Mississippi Community College (where the ceremony was actually held) more national attention than it ever expected – or desired – to receive.


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