Pomp And Nonsense

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First there was the pregnant Alabama senior who was not allowed on stage to receive her diploma (though the father of her child was permitted to). Then there were the students in Michigan who painted over some gay-hating graffiti and were not allowed to attend their own graduation ceremony.

Now there are five Illinois students who were denied diplomas at their commencement ceremony because–wait for it–there were cheers when they walked across the stage. There are rules at the school that were designed to “restore graduation decorum.”

It gets worse. School administrators wanted the five students to track down the cheering audience members. Like it is their job. Like they would obtain an accurate round-up. Like anyone cares.

The students and their parents met with school administators, who agreed to give diplomas to the students if they apologized, even anonymously. They did not.

An attorney for the students is sending a letter to school officials at Galesburg High School, asking the school to apologize and to grant the diplomas. There is the possibility of a court case.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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