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  1. #1
    PurplePackerEater is offline Ring of Fame
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    Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    [size=14pt]Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers[/size]

    By JAN DENNIS, Associated Press Writer
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070601/ap_on_re_us/graduation_decorum


    GALESBURG, Ill. - Caisha Gayles graduated with honors last month, but she is still waiting for her diploma. The reason: the whoops of joy from the audience as she crossed the stage.

    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.

    About a month before the May 27 ceremony, Galesburg High students and their parents had to sign a contract promising to act in dignified way. Violators were warned they could be denied their diplomas and barred from the after-graduation party.

    Many schools across the country ask spectators to hold applause and cheers until the end of graduation. But few of them enforce the policy with what some in Galesburg say are strong-arm tactics.

    "It was like one of the worst days of my life," said Gayles, who had a 3.4 grade-point average and officially graduated, but does not have the keepsake diploma to hang on her wall. "You walk across the stage and then you can't get your diploma because of other people cheering for you. It was devastating, actually."

    School officials in Galesburg, a working-class town of 34,000 that is still reeling from the 2004 shutdown of a 1,600-employee refrigerator factory, said the get-tough policy followed a 2005 commencement where hoots, hollers and even air horns drowned out much of the ceremony and nearly touched off fights in the audience when the unruly were asked to quiet down.

    "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."

    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.

    "It's an important, solemn occasion. There's plenty of time for celebration before and after," said Clarke Campbell, president of the Indianapolis school board.

    In Galesburg, the issue has taken on added controversy with accusations that the students were targeted because of their race: four are black and one is Hispanic. Parents say cheers also erupted for white students, and none of them was denied a diploma.

    Principal Tom Chiles said administrators who monitored the more than 2,000-seat auditorium reported only disruptions they considered "significant," and all turned in the same five names.

    "Race had absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever," Chiles said. "It is the amount of disruption at the time of the incident."

    School officials said they will hear students and parents out if they appeal. 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.

    Gayles' mother said she plans to fight the school board — in court if necessary — to get her daughter's diploma. The noise "was like three seconds. It was like, `Yay,' and that was it," Carolyn Gayles said.

    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.

    Another student who was denied her diploma, Nadia Trent, said she will probably let the school keep it if her appeals fail.

    "It's not fair. Somebody could not like me and just decide to yell to get me in trouble. I can't control everyone, just the ones I gave tickets to," Trent said.

  2. #2
    PurplePackerEater is offline Ring of Fame
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    Some people just don't get it.

    You sign a contract, you know what the repercussions are, and you still do it ... WTF is wrong with people? And then they try to play the race card. :

  3. #3
    LuckyVike's Avatar
    LuckyVike is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    Enter Al Sharpton:

    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  4. #4
    Garland Greene's Avatar
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    "PurplePackerEater" wrote:
    Some people just don't get it.

    You sign a contract, you know what the repercussions are, and you still do it ... WTF is wrong with people? And then they try to play the race card. :
    Attitudes like yours.
    Its a graduation, people should be happy for some people that is a huge accomplishment, its a dumb rule that has no business being one. And it doesn't matter if it was only blacks, hispanics, whites, ect. If you are going to have a rule it needs to be enforced for everyone. If it was truley the case and the White students did not get the same consiqunces, then it is in no way playing the race card.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    People need to respect the rules but keeping someones diploma is stupid.
    You have completed your requirements, you deserve your reward.

  6. #6
    vikes2456's Avatar
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    This is ridiculous, and anyone who honestly believes they should have their diplomas held is a heartless idiotic p.o.s.

  7. #7
    MensaTice's Avatar
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    Everyone is wrong in this situation.
    It would be great if people showed up and cheered for people they hate.

    [color=red]

  8. #8
    lakehubertviking is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    I think the rule is ridiculous, they should have just escorted the families from the ceremony not punished the students, but they were warned of it ahead of time so I guess rules are rules.

    Probably the same people that talk out loud and use their cell phones at the movies and don't use turn signals.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    "lakehubertviking" wrote:
    I think the rule is ridiculous, they should have just escorted the families from the ceremony not punished the students, but they were warned of it ahead of time so I guess rules are rules.

    Probably the same people that talk out loud and use their cell phones at the movies and don't use turn signals.
    Sorry I am low on turn signal fluid ;D


  10. #10
    PurplePackerEater is offline Ring of Fame
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    Re: Ill. students lose diplomas over cheers

    "Garland" wrote:
    "PurplePackerEater" wrote:
    Some people just don't get it.

    You sign a contract, you know what the repercussions are, and you still do it ... WTF is wrong with people? And then they try to play the race card. :
    Attitudes like yours.
    Its a graduation, people should be happy for some people that is a huge accomplishment, its a dumb rule that has no business being one. And it doesn't matter if it was only blacks, hispanics, whites, ect. If you are going to have a rule it needs to be enforced for everyone. If it was truley the case and the White students did not get the same consiqunces, then it is in no way playing the race card.
    I disagree.

    ...said the get-tough policy followed a 2005 commencement where hoots, hollers and even air horns drowned out much of the ceremony and nearly touched off fights in the audience when the unruly were asked to quiet down.

    "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 agree.

    "It's an important, solemn occasion. There's plenty of time for celebration before and after," said Clarke Campbell, president of the Indianapolis school board.
    I agree.


    And I'm sure that they will get down to the bottom of this race thing, I'm sure that someone had to of recorded the event.

    Punishing the students for somebody else’s actions is ridiculous, and they will receive their diplomas without any consequences, I'm sure. But I do think that if people are being a nuisance to others around them, they need to be removed. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

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