There are good reasons for the policy of witholding applause, cheers, or other loud and noisy demonstrations of pride during a high school graduation:
- If one does it, then everybody will feel empowered to do so.
- It leads to a “see if you can top this demonstration of exuberance” attitude where each successive demonstration becomes louder and longer than the last one.
- Since most schools both publish and announce at the event their desire that all attendees withhold applause and other such demonstrations until the conclusion of the activity, it sets a terrible example when the adults or other youth flagrantly violate the rules set for everybody at such a solemn occasion.
- Many, if not most, of the graduates are more embarrassed than honored by such misbehavior on the part of their family members.
I don’t know whether Abby Zimit has any children and if so whether she has ever attended a high school graduation function. When I attended my son’s high school graduation 13 years ago that sort of thing went on and it was tolerated by those in charge despite their repeated requests that attendees refrain from defying their rules for the occasion…
That night things came to a head when a frustrated parent got up and turned around to ask some particularly loud demonstrators to stop disrupting the occasion. The big mouths ended up starting a fight and attempts to break up the disruption by others caused the fight to grow in size (both the original protagonists and victims in this case were African American by the way) and started to look like it would grow into a full-fledged riot.
At that point a squad of police came (integrated with white, black, male and female officers I might add), broke up the melee, restored order, and arrested or detained for questioning nearly two dozen people. All because some privileged loud mouths thought the rules that were clearly set and repeatedly announced for everybody did not apply to them. That was 13 years ago. I have a granddaughter who will be graduating high school in about 6 more years. I do not look forward to attending her graduation.