Graduation etiquette raises concern

By Natalie Fultz

COLUMBUS, GA – It's a day four years in the making. Its been filled with tests, late night study sessions and a plethora of homework.

The soon to be high school graduates are about to be walking across the stage and receiving their diplomas, but they won't be hearing the excitement from family and friends.

They will have to wait for a group applause after their entire row of fellow graduates is named.

Friends and family who don't comply are subject to arrest, and the student may be prevented from receiving their diploma.  

“I think it is important that our children are taught how to conduct themselves in public… Right place, right time. Our children need to know that we celebrate them, and to hear their names called out one by one and to hear their families celebrate, scream and yell. There's a time and a place to be appropriate and have social etiquette, and there's a time and a place to just let it loose and celebrate our children,” Neisha Rogers said.

Muscogee County School District requires noisemaker devices, balloons, flowers and any other item that may distract from the ceremony to be left outside the ceremony.

“It's about every single graduate on that stage. It's about every single family member that came to support. If your name is called and your family member doesn't hear your name, then they have traveled so far to hear that name and have that once in a lifetime opportunity. It's not a once in a lifetime opportunity for one student, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for every graduate that is graduating is muscogee county school district, and they deserve that respect,” Valerie Fuller says.    
Over 1900 students will be graduating from one of nine of the Muscogee County high schools.

“When you think about all the stuff that is going on in the world, thinking about a parent getting arrested for calling out a child's name that worked so hard to get to this point…it is taking it to the very extreme for it, for all this to be happening,” Quanetta Pritchett says.

“I said please don't do it, just wait until after the graduation. It's going to be a joyful time, but we can wait until we get outside,” Jaquan Sanks says.

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