As the traditional school year wraps up for many schools across the United States many people will be attending graduation ceremonies. It’s such an exciting time, unless you ask Nichole who will tell you to pipe down. There will be mass mailings of glossy photographs and directions to parties (skip the ceremony and send the money). Thank you, Jostens. Calendars will fill up and our teens will disappear for weekends upon weekends going from one shindig to another.
College and high school graduations aren’t the only ceremonies we’ll be attending, though. Let us not forget the Kindergarten graduations. Ah yes, it’s also the time of year we celebrate our little ones leaving the safe haven of the Kindergarten class rooms and leaving behind their nap mats. Little children don paper caps and gowns, sing songs, and receive little diplomas. It’s a happy event, commemorating that harrowing first year of school lunches and realizing that some of the people you interact with on a daily basis are going to be jerks, nose pickers, snobs, brats, and know-it-alls. It’s the end of innocence. For some kids more than others.
Take for example a recent Kindergarten graduation ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio at Michael R. White Elementary School. During the refreshment portion of the celebration a little punch was spilled resulting in some punches being thrown. Two teenagers were involved in the initial dispute followed by their respective family members joining in the fight and “taking it outside”. In total, 8 people (7 adults and 1 teen) were arrested and charged with aggravated rioting, with a hammer and a pipe being confiscated at the time of the arrests.
Teenagers brawling at a young sibling’s event certainly wreaks of poor parenting, but the fact that the adult members of the respective families became involved in the fight as well makes it crystal clear. What kind of person believes that a spilled cup of punch, accidentally or otherwise, is an excuse to participate in physical confrontation and violence anywhere, let alone at a young child’s commemorative ceremony? I can only hope that the punishments meted out for this brouhaha are severe.
This is a perfect lesson for all who witnessed the event as well as those directly involved. Violence is not the answer, patience is a virtue, turn the other cheek, and keep your cool. This lesson will serve children far better in the world they are entering than watching someone get a beat down over something as ridiculous as a glass of punch. While I would never publicly shame a person for fear of their child having to witness it, I hope in some way that the parents and teens involved can see the response this news gets and feel so completely humiliated by their actions that they get some help in controlling their anger issues. Shame on you.