This is absolutely insane. Graduation day is the culmination of years of hard work and struggle, the bulk of which would often never have happened without the support, help and love of our families during the difficult periods. In a way the day is as much about those that helped the students get there as it is about the students themselves, a fact I was reminded of when, during my admission to the New York State Bar, the entire room gave a standing ovation to the assembled family members and loved ones.
Heaven forbid a parent or family member cheer their loved one graduating. How unnatural a reaction that is! The mind boggles as to just how sensitive one’s sensibilities have to be to be offended by conduct like that. As for the fact that a mere apology might have been enough to change matters, a lot would depend on what the apology had to consist of. If it were me I’d refuse to apologise for being happy for my child’s success and feeling the need to cheer, yet I would be willing to accept that my conduct had breached an agreement I had signed. Nonetheless, the point still stands; why were the students penalised for conduct that was not their own or within their control?
Only in America would such an incident require the help of a lawyer (and good on him). It’s not that I oppose the use of lawyers, I am one after all, but it just seems the entire situation could have been resolved a lot easier much sooner, a fact even the attorney made note of. In a final act of sheer petty vindictiveness there was no apology for the school’s conduct and the diplomas were handed to the graduates by the school secretary, not the principal. I wonder if this was actually necessary, or just a pathetic attempt by the school, who were in the wrong, to have the final say on the matter and attempt to salvage their pride.