A Cincinnati-area school district is holding back the diplomas for four seniors after their families demonstrated “excessive” cheering during the Mt. Healthy graduation ceremony last month.
Mt. Healthy superintendent Lori Handler tells WCPO that in order for the students to physically receive their diplomas, they or their families must complete 20 hours of community service. But, she says, the students are considered high school graduates whether or not they have a diploma in hand and can still use their transcripts to apply to colleges or jobs.
Here’s what the cheering for one of those seniors, Anthony Cornist, sounded like:
Is it legal for a school district to hold onto a student’s diploma? The AP says yes:
Local school boards in Ohio have policymaking powers governing such things as guests’ graduation ceremony conduct, and schools also sometimes hold diplomas until fees are paid, books returned or other issues are resolved.
Mt. Healthy’s superintendent says the district wants each student’s name to be heard, and that the duration of the Cornist family’s cheering stepped on the name of the next student in line. From WCPO:
Handler says the Cornists signed the agreement with the school to conduct themselves appropriately. [Mother] Traci Cornist says if she signed it, she never read it.
She claims she was unaware of the policy, even thought she admitted to posting a message to Facebook stating, “We showed so much Support…That maybe we are about to be escorted out the building…Who cares my baby just graduated!”