A South Carolina high school wants it to be perfectly quiet when seniors walk the stage at graduation — and parents who don’t oblige could be in big trouble.
Greenville High School has told students and parents that they will not tolerate clapping or cheering of any kind during this month’s ceremony and are preparing to issue a $1,030 fine for anyone who is too noisy. As the Greenville News reported, the school told families that graduation should be a “dignified and solemn occasion” and told them to spread the word about the new penalty for breaking that tradition.
This is not the first time that a Greenville-area high school has made headlines in recent weeks. Earlier, an openly gay student named Adam Bell was named Prom King at Powdersville High School, but many parents and commenters attacked Bell online when he chose to wear a dress to the event.
The relentless attacks led the school to delete the photo, but not before it garnered worldwide attention. A number of people also spoke up to support Bell for his attire, saying it was no one else’s business what the senior wore to the dance.
The story about Greenville High School’s decision to fine over-enthusiastic parents has also drawn some controversy. Many commenters said they saw the $1,030 fine as a needlessly harsh measure, noting that a graduation should be a happy celebration rather than a somber ceremony. There were some who defended the idea — if not the exact dollar amount — nothing that cheering parents can sometimes cause other families to miss hearing the name of their graduate.
Jeff Macfie, whose son is graduating this month, told the Greenville News that he believes over-exuberant parents can ruin the event but does not see how the $1,030 fine would be enforceable. He believes the fine is excessive.
While Greenville High School may be preparing to fine families $1,030 for cheering at graduation, the local police department may not be on board. Police Sergeant Jonathan Bragg told the Greenville News that families would not be penalized for cheering or applauding but could be cited if they were to shout obscenities.