Three boos for the Galesburg, IL School District and three cheers for Peoria, IL attorney Jeff Green. At the recent graduation ceremony from Galesburg High, five students were denied their diplomas because friends and relatives in the audience cheered for them, in violation of the school’s “no-cheering at graduation” rule. The principal, Tom Chiles, showed a marvelous lack of understanding about how significant it is for some students to make it through high school. He would not give the students their diplomas until Peoria attorney Jeffrey Green threated a lawsuit. Within 24 hours of Mr. Green getting involved, the matter was settled and the diplomas were handed out by the school secretary. With all of the lawyer bashing that takes place, Mr. Green should be commended for taking on this case for free so that an obvious wrong could be righted. The Illinois State Board of Education said it could not support Galesburg’s decorum policy because it makes students responsible for behavior they cannot control.
‘It’s certainly not a policy we would support,’ Illinois State Board of Education spokesman Matt Vanover said Friday. ‘We would have some concerns in that you would be withholding a diploma from someone who earned a diploma.’