25 May 2006

Somebody Had to Say It

After repeated requests for decency went unheeded at a recent graduation ceremony, the Most Reverend Michael Jarrel, Bishop of Lafayette, walked out of the ceremony.

Parents, relatives, and friends persisted in cheering in the form of "hoots and hollars" for their graduates, despite instructions to hold their applause and cheers until all graduates received their diplomas.

Like many of you, I am sure, I, too, have witnessed such debacles and I find them very distasteful, self-centered, and immature at best.

To refrain from such ridiculous and obnoxious behavior seems a fair request, and a decent one, that adds dignity and respect to the ceremonies.

In a statement he issued in response to the controversy his walking out has caused, Bishop Jarrel wrote,

I have great respect for the graduates. They were perfect young ladies and gentlemen. They did all that was asked of them by the school. I believe that they wanted a dignified ceremony and one not interrupted by rude behavior by others. Thirty years ago it was the graduates who created disruptions. Today's graduates are models of good behavior; the problem is in the audience. What I did was for the sake of the graduates in future years (emphasis added).
It is high time somebody said such a thing! Way to go, Bishop Jarrel! Keep up the good work!

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