Though I have lived in Texas for several years, I graduated from Orem High School and keep track of Utah news online and through friends and family members who still reside in Utah. I would like to respond to your recent article about graduation commencement ceremonies and add some insight and possibly an idea that schools in other states have adopted with some real successes.
The administration of Corvallis (Ore.) High School got together several years ago to see if they could come up with some ideas on what to do about the commencement ceremonies and the few students who nearly always acted out in some way or another. They decided that part of the reason for these kids acting out was to show some individualism, however inappropriate.
The students' biggest complaint and frustration was that only the people in the National Honor Society, and students with other academic honors get to show their honor and involvement visibly by wearing a banner during commencement ceremonies.
The administration and students concluded to address all these issues they would allow the students to decorate only the tops of their graduation caps, within specific guidelines.
The kids felt some control. It is after all their graduation, their celebration, their party but with a certain level of decorum.