Diploma Denied To Student Who Bowed, Blew Kiss To FamilyJune 16th, 2009
For teens, there is no greater joy than graduating high school. Shaking off the shackles of education and claiming that hard-fought diploma is truly an epic day. Unfortunately, for several students at Bonny Eagle High School in Maine, their natural exuberance has led to some surprisingly serious problems.
On Friday night, when the senior class was waiting to graduate, excitement began to grow. Students bounced a large inflatable rubber duck. The noise level rose. And then came "the kiss." When called, one student walked on stage to receive his diploma and blew a kiss to his family. The school administrator, clearly not the sentimental sort, sent the student back to his seat ... sans diploma.
The seemingly harsh punishment has sent the Web all aflutter. Searches on "student denied diploma" and "bonny eagle high school" are both through the roof. Additionally, blogs and news papers are chiming in with opinions on whether or not the administration overreacted. The student's mother has given interviews and is quite upset at her son's treatment. According to an article from Fox News the outraged mother said, "A bow, a kiss to your mom is not misbehavior."
But the administrators feel they were just enforcing the rules that students agreed to. At a meeting following the debacle, school superintendent Suzanne Lukas said that "if a student doesn't adhere to the expectations, then the consequences are clearly spelled out."
The breakdown in decorum was the talk of graduation parties and gatherings over the weekend, as well as the subject of angry e-mails Monday to the Board of Directors of School Administrative District 6.
"It escalated to the point that there was so much bad feeling at the end that it totally overshadowed these kids' achievements," said Meg Hastings, whose parents and in-laws were also on hand to watch her son graduate. "I was amazed at how quickly it degenerated into this fiasco."
Hastings and some other parents said Superintendent Suzanne Lukas made matters worse by reacting to the bad manners of a few overly exuberant seniors.
"I think it was blown out of proportion," said Mary Weyer, the mother of a graduate. "I just felt it was so poorly handled."
This isn't the first time that rambunctious or dare we say "fun" behavior affected a graduation ceremony at Bonny Eagle. "Four years ago we had some issues with silly string and beach balls," said Lukas.
(It's not all Superintendent Suzanne Lukas' fault. On a high school administrators salary, she can't afford to have the giant stick removed from her ass.)