Monday, June 04, 2007

Keep it down back there

For five students at an Illinois high school, their graduation day came and went with a certain amount of fanfare and cheering. So much cheering, in fact, that the school decided to withhold their diplomas.

Yes, you just read that correctly. Because of the exuberance of their families and friends at the announcement of their names, five students at Galesburg High School were not able to receive their diplomas. In what the school claimed as an effort to keep the commencement ceremonies from getting too rowdy, they had students and parents sign papers that they would act in a respectful and dignified manner. Apparently, being respectful and dignified also meant, to the school at least, that the graduates name be greeted by a chorus of crickets chirping.

If it turns out that the school simply was following the policy it set down, and not engaging in some other form of discrimination (all five students were minorities), then we may see this type of thinking take root in other venues. Imagine going to the theatre and being requested by the ushers to hold your applause to a lower level. Certainly abandon the thought of giving any sort of extra acclaim to other performers, as it might make those that didn't receive the hoots feel badly about themselves. Or picture going to see a concert, and when the band turns the microphone out for the audience to sing along, the sound of nothing fills the air.

Although maybe asking for a little less from audiences could be applied to sporting events. After all, do we really need to hear that small group of painted and drunken fans, shouting over and over again about what exactly a certain player's off-field antics are? Or how much they can't do for their team? Or how the peanut and hot dog vendors just need to get them another couple of brews? That's a sound of silence that we could wholeheartedly support.

No comments: