Saturday, June 11, 2005

It's getting harder and harder to graduate

Last month, I wrote about the pregnant high school senior in Alabama who was told she could not walk across the stage to receive her diploma, but the father of her child was allowed to receive his. This week, a Native American boy in Maryland was denied his diploma because he wore a bolo tie with his commencement gown.

But the best graduation story comes from Howell, Michigan. Someone painted God Hates Fags on the school rock at Howell High School, and a graduating student, Shayla Kamiliar, got her friends together to paint over the hate graffiti. They spray-painted the rock, then wrote Love all over a number of pieces of school property. They have been accused of vandalism (which is, of course, what they perpetrated, in the form of civil disobedience), suspended from class, and barred from the graduation ceremony.

More than two hundred students protested the punishment, and one of the parents decided to put together a backyard ceremony for the group's three graduating seniors. That ceremony has now been moved to a football field. A teacher will address the three graduates and their friends, the valedictorian will come by and give his speech again, and the superintendent is making sure the grads have caps and gowns.