Check with your school administration to ascertain whether throwing caps is allowed. Some schools now disallow this, opting instead to hand out streamers or confetti for students to throw afterward. If you do throw you cap, toss it straight up in the air. Flipping it like a Frisbee into the audience could harm someone.
Speaking of caps, writing goofy comments on the mortar board is a tradition going back decades. Sure, it ruins the decorum of the appearance but the vast majority of them are joyful expressions of relief that adds a touch of levity to the event. Just be sure to not put something distasteful on your mortarboard. Most of us really do not want to view foul language, references to sex or graphic images as part of our memory of the day.
Hold your applause
Everyone in attendance should restrain themselves from yelling or clapping for their student during the ceremony out of respect for the other students and their families. Yes, we know this is a major milestone for Darling Fifi to graduate from high school but it’s also everyone else’s major milestone as well. If you scream, yell, clap and make a general spectacle of yourself after your child’s name is called, the likelihood is quite high that your celebratory hoopla will disrupt the flow of the diploma presentations and drown out the calling of the name of the student following yours. You wouldn’t want some yahoo diminishing your child’s brief moment of recognition so don’t do it to others.
Restrain thyselves, shutterbugs
Watching a child graduate from high school is undoubtedly a proud moment in any parent’s life. And capturing that moment on film will be a top priority for some. But your need to photographically document the exact moment your child receives his/her diploma does not take precedent over the needs of the many to keep the program proceeding on time without disruptions. Parents should stay seated and let the professional photographers hired for the occasion to do their jobs.
Leave the pranks for later
Graduates, that brief moment you’ll have walking across the stage to receive your diploma and a handshake from principal, superintendent or chancellor shouldn’t be marred by some stupid prank. Wearing nothing under your robe and flashing, mooning the audience or shooting the principal the bird behind his/her back as you walk off stage are all crass actions that will indelibly imprint on your neighbors’ and families minds just what an immature jerk you really are. And in this day of electronic gadgets able to record everything, your antics may live forever in Youtube, much to the shame and embarrassment of your parents, your future spouse, and eventually you when a prospective employer finds it during the interview process for a job you really, really want or need.
Save the whine and cheeses for another time, Mom
Unless your kid graduated from a 1 room schoolhouse on the prairie with a graduating class size of 10, the probability is high that your school’s administration will have limited seating for the families of all graduates at the ceremony. Restricting guests to a set number of tickets is pretty routine in fairness to all. Whining in the editorial section of your local newspaper about how your Darling Fifi’s graduation is ruined because you couldn’t get more tickets to seat every aunt, uncle, cousin and third cousins marks you as a pathetic whiner whose attitude of entitlement makes you think you somehow deserve more tickets than everyone is receiving.
Am I missing anything else, readers?