Tag Archives: high school

Girl sent home for this tee shirt…is this free speech or just inappropriate fashion?

The principal sent this girl home from school for wearing this shirt. Were her rights violated?



Did the shooting at Baltimore County School Perry Hall HS stem from Facebook threat?

The first day of school is supposed to be filled with hope. It offers students and teachers a new beginning, but not today. I was on Twitter and I saw Baltimore County was trending topic and I learned that there had been a shooting at Perry Hall High School. Some have speculated that the shooting stemmed from a bullying incident, but this is an evolving story, but it is a sad way to start a new year of school.

Valedictorian denied diploma for using the word “hell”…fair or foul?

In this age of vile language it is unusual to find that someone is actually punished for saying the word “hell”. Class valedictorian submitted her speech for approval prior to the graduation ceremony and she used the word “heck”, but at the ceremony she used the word “hell”. She has been denied her graduation certificate until she writes a letter of apology. She refuses. What do you think?


Mark Commencements with Grace

Over the past couple of weeks we have witnessed a mother arrested for cheering too loudly for her daughter and we have also seen a young man denied his diploma because his guests cheered too loudly, but how should someone act at the graduation ceremony? Yesterday I read this wonderful article and I wanted to share it with you.

GUEST POST: By Caryl Davis of Milwaukee she works for Milwaukee Public Schools.
Knowing how to dress appropriately and how to demonstrate responsible behavior during promotion and commencement programs are not always understood and sometimes require reminders. Formal academic programs are steeped in tradition and history. Typically signified by the academic regalia worn by graduates from institutions of higher education, the mortarboard cap, gown and hood represent various levels of higher educational degree attainment. Promotion, graduation and commencement exercises are formal academic programs that must be honored. In honor of our students’ achievements, guests and participants should dress and behave in a manner that is suitable for the occasion. We can learn from the women of Spelman College. Spelman, Atlanta’s historically black women’s college, celebrated her 124th commencement on May 15. Missionaries Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles founded Spelman, originally called Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, in 1881. The college has a long, proud history of tradition and excellence, and Spelman women are to “present themselves neatly and appropriately at all times.” Similarly and according to the school’s Community Standards and Code of Conduct, Spelman students may not demonstrate offensive, threatening, violent or verbally abusive behavior. As representatives of Spelman and her long history of excellence, students are expected to wear appropriate attire for formal college events and occasions. Spelman’s strict White Dress Tradition includes wearing a white, modest, appropriate-length dress or skirt. Lycra, spandex, very high heels, flip-flops or revealing clothing are not allowed. We all know that promotions and commencements are exciting. Most everyone wants to give a little hoot when her or his loved one rises to receive her certificate. But promotions and commencements are shared community experiences where honor and dignity always have a place at the table. If one must hoot, do so with humility in mind. Hoot too loudly or for too long and you are likely interfering with someone else’s moment of pride. I know, you’re excited. I understand the pride that a parent feels for her child’s achievement. I understand the round-table tutoring sessions, the energy that must be mustered up from nowhere, the sacrifice of personal pursuits and the money that parents willingly supply in order to see their children succeed. But this graduation season, let’s prepare our children for excellence by showing them how it’s done. We don’t want them to be shocked and run scared when they look excellence in the face. We want them to be ready for all of the goodness that life has in store for them. Congratulations are indeed in order for our kindergartners and grade school promotees. We plan to encourage you by showing up with dignity and honor. And with every positive milestone you reach, we’ll put our best feet forward and encourage you to reach beyond promotion.
Remember, the best is yet to come.

Originally appeared JSOnline: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

High School Senior Anthony Cornist denied diploma for excessive cheering at graduation

High school senior Anthony Cornist was a popular football player and when he walked across the stage to receive his diploma he was greeted with cheers from friends and family. It was a time of celebration, but the administration believed it was too much and Cornist has been punished. The school sent him a letter saying he has to do 20 hours of community service because of the excessive cheering. His mother has stated he will not be doing the community service. the school will not release his diploma until the community service is completed. What do you think? Is this fair or simply ridiculous?


The Golden Kids We Raised

Today I was talking to a friend of mine and she shared a story that was hilarious and sad at the same time. She has a daughter who recently graduated from school. She is fortunate enough to have a summer job as a receptionist. Today she was late for work and she chose to wear flip flops. Upon arriving at work she was admonished for being late and she was informed that flip flops were not acceptable work attire. Her daughter found both of these things upsetting. She said her boss is late all of the time and she failed to grasp the inappropriateness of flip flops for the workplace. Her mother tried to rationally discuss the matter with her daughter, but her daughter refused to hear her. A few years ago a group of young women who had won some kind of national sporting event went to the White House to meet the president and many of them too thought flip flops were the right shoe for the moment. The lateness and the flips flops symbolize a bigger issue, and the issue is where did these golden kids come from? The answer is so simple. We raised them. We did not intend to make them feel golden that was merely a bi-product of our misguided attempts to be better parents than we had. I loved both of my parents, but my father did raise his voice often. His word was law and there really was not a lot of discussion. If you did attempt to discuss you did it at your own peril. Back in the day discussion came under the umbrella called “backtalk”, and backtalk was not tolerated. So of course I wanted to raise children that could express themselves. Freely, but respectfully but sometimes that dialogue has come dangerously close to the disrespect line. My own teenage son balked at cutting lawns this summer because this was not his “ideal” job. How did these children become so precious? How did they become golden? I tell you how: you have what you raise. We have put our children in a protective cocoon. In the cocoon no one ever questions their judgment, no one ever raises their voice and work for teenagers is optional. How do you ask someone to toughen up when they never had it tough? A teen in Indiana recently planted a package in the girl’s restroom as a prank, and incidentally he wore a mask and a hoodie while he committed this hilarious offense. When the package was found the school alerted the authorities and the building was evacuated. The teen has been arrested and he now faces felony charges. He says he is sorry but he might be looking at some serious prison time. Sure the golden kid meant no harm but the authorities think differently. His relatives have excused it as a prank, but this particular prank can literally change the rest of his life. So how do we fix what we have created? Do we just push them out the door and say go for it? No, we have to take these incidents and use them as teachable moment. Sure teachable moments are starting to sound like another well-intentioned cliché, but it is not. My friend will talk to her daughter today and let her know that the real world is a lot different from the parental cocoon. In the real world they will call you on your stuff. In the real world you might be smart, but rest assured you are not the smartest, but she will let her know she can make it. She will make it because our golden kids have got to grow up and they will have to learn it is not easy once you leave the protection of the parental cocoon.

Hoop Nightmare at Baltimore Basketball Game

High school basketball games are supposed to be fun. Sure there are rivalries but that is supposed to be settled on the court. Last night at a Baltimore High School game a fight broke out in the stands and when all was said and done players were in the stand fighting. When you look at the faces in the crowd prior to the fight you don’t see people who just want to have fun you see people probably spewing insults unrelated to the game. How do you keep order in these situations? Should fans be immediately ejected if they start talking a little too much smack? Tell me what you think.

Florida Principal Removed from School for Disciplining His Daughter?

Florida principal Darren Jones has been removed from his school for hitting his own daughter with an extension cord. His daughter has been removed from the home and he was arrested and released. Jones says he was disciplining his out of control daughter. Jones has been credited with turning around failing schools as well as being a father figure to at risk youth. Is this old school discipline or is this abuse? Tell me what you think. http://video.miami.cbslocal.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?clipId1=5474815&flvUri=&partnerclipid=&at1=News&vt1=v&h1=Bro%20ward%20Principal%20Charged%20With%20Child%20Abuse&d1=112733&redirUrl=http://video.miami.cbslocal.com&activePane=info&LaunchPageAdTag=homepage&clipFormat=flv

Should Schools Close for Muslim Holidays?

The Cambridge School district in Massachusetts has voted to close school to observe a Muslim holiday. This is the first school district in the state to do this. This same request has come up in my school district and has not been approved. The holiday will be observed for the first time November 11, 2011. My question is should other school districts adopt this policy?  We celebrate Christian  and Jewish holidays shouldn’t we do the same for Islamic holidays? Tell me what you think.

It’s the First Day of School, but Alicia Debolt will never enter high school

Today is the first day of school and for my youngest it is the first day of high school. She was understandably nervous but she left with a big smile on her face. This is a joyous time for her, but last week I read a story about another girl who should have been starting high school today, but instead she is in the morgue. Alicia Debolt was a cheerleader from Great Bend, Kansas who was about to enter her freshman year of high school. She was last seen at her home last Saturday night, when she left with her 19-year-old boyfriend at 11PM to attend a party. Her body was found burned beyond recognition in a dumpster. Two questions come to mind: why is a 19 year old allowed to date a minor and why is a 14 year old allowed to leave her home at 11PM to go out partying? A fourteen year old is not an adult and should not be treated like she is one. Parents want to have good relationships with their children, but their children have plenty of friends and they need parents that are there to actually teach them right from wrong. I would not be so callous as to judge this situation, but I will just say today I was grateful to see my 14 year old do what 14 teen year olds should be doing and that is starting high school.