I wanted to skip my graduation.

As a Northwest High School grad, I was fairly certain I would be in for a dull proceeding, feature a speaker I didn’t care about, and be a long list of names being read. Two things prompted me to go: 1) my parents who wanted to see their eldest receive his diploma and 2) me knowing my people were going to act a fool in the stands. And not just my people, but the folks of friends of mine were going to keep it from becoming too turgid an affair.

Now they are going to cut back on half of the fun.

Some parents are leery of edict that urges cheering as grads enter and exit but not as names are read. 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.

This reminds me of the NFL cutting down on touchdown celebrations (and thus being dubbed the No Fun League). Boos I could understand. Total obnoxiousness I could understand. But this is a moment of pride for parents and some people need to celebrate loudly. There’s nothing indecorous about pride given voice. The ceremony isn’t a solemn occasion as much as a celebration of achievement, the excitement of clearing one of life’s rites of passage. Sorry if that breaks your precious sense of proper decorum.

Why don’t you tell us not to cheer or support your team at your next sporting event? If you fear that not each student will be able to hear their name, you’d think the person reading the names ought to have sense enough to go “hmm, they’re still cheering. Why don’t I wait another second or two before I read the next name.”

At every one of my kids’ graduation, I plan on embarrassing them. If it were my folks, they’d go ahead and cheer. It wouldn’t be the first time we were asked to leave a public place. Plus, they’d beat the crowd.

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