Monday, June 04, 2007

Grads Lose Diplomas Because Of Fans At Ceremony

(CBS) GALESBURG, Ill. Five downstate high school seniors walked across the stage during graduation, but were denied that important slip of paper: the diploma. The reason was that fans cheered too loud for them during the ceremony.

Galesburg High School bans shouting during the graduation ceremony to ensure that every name can be heard. About a month before the May 27 ceremony, Galesburg High students and their parents had to sign a contract promising to act in dignified way. Violators were warned the students could be denied their diplomas and barred from the after-graduation party.

The students argue that they should not be held responsible for rowdy grown-ups that can’t follow the rules.

“I told everybody, but it doesn't mean that they're going to listen, you know,” said Nadia Trent, who was denied her diploma. “I'm a kid, they're grown people. I can't control them.”

Galesburg School Supt. Dr. Gene Denisar regarded the loud cheering differently. “It's a mystery to me why a family wouldn't want to support their child with honor, respect and dignity,” he said.

School officials said they will hear students and parents out if they appeal. Meanwhile, the students have the opportunity to get their diplomas, but only if they work eight hours of community service, answering phones, sorting books or doing other chores for the district, according to the school.

However, the students are not ready to forgive and forget. The five teenagers rejected the offer, demanding their certificates and an apology.

Man Scarfs More Than 59 Hot Dogs In 12 Minutes