Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Kim Johnson Reporting If you've been to a high school graduation lately, it's probably not the quiet and somewhat dignified event you may remember from years past. Educators nationwide are grappling with what they complain is a growing lack of decorum.
Every year principals send home guidelines for what is appropriate and what is not, like noise makers, air horns, silly string, excessive noise, etc. Educators say by and large the students try to cooperate. If only the audience would.
Randy Riplinger has written a letter to several newspapers about decorum at commencement ceremonies, and the lack of it at his son's recent high school graduation. He says he and his wife happened to be seated next to a loud crowd.
Randy Riplinger, Granite School District: "It just blew us out of our seats. We all cupped our ears. It was on the threshold of pain. That on top of the fact that then you miss the names of a couple of people you were waiting to hear or see, it doesn't have a good place."
Riplinger says while most educators encourage dignified ceremonies, some don't.
Randy Riplinger, Granite School District: "I was disappointed up at Utah State University, that frankly from the podium, loud noise and cheering and screaming was encouraged, and in my opinion that was the worst graduation ceremony I've ever been to."
Our cameras took footage today of a graduation ceremony at the E Center. Noise makers were heard, even though they're prohibited. And when certain names were read, celebrations seemed more suitable for a sporting event.
Opinions on what is and isn't appropriate at graduation vary too.
Rich Wright: "I think graduation is a celebration of life, and I think you should just let everyone know you're happy about it. Make as much noise as possible."
Mike Staply: "I've been to both kids' and I like it a little more of the ceremony, without that much noise. People are going to be people."
Still, educators say they are having some success with trying to educate both students and their parents on inappropriate behavior at graduation. While behavior could always improve, some told us this year's ceremonies were much improved over those of a year or two ago.