Why some low-income students in Texas won't be participating in graduation

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  • BU52 Provo, ut
    May 28, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Its a racket, the companies contract with the school, the school extorts the money from the kids and the company gives the school a kickback. This is important training for all neighborhood organizers that want to get into politics. Let the little people bare the burden to enrich the donors.
    According to Nibley the Robes and Cap are the trappings of the false priesthood.

  • Beaver Native St. George, UT
    May 27, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    The expense of high school and college rituals is outrageous and unnecessary, and yes, it does put an unfair burden on those who can't afford it, but the answer is not to throw money at the problem. The answer is to not require things like a cap and gown in the first place, and then to teach kids to take responsibility to earn money if they desire to have one. I, for one, resented the cost - and the requirement - my school had of wearing a cap and gown to graduate, and, knowing my family could not really afford the cost, I chose to work and save rather than to put the burden on my parents. The same thing with things like Proms. I was the only young man who went who wore my Sunday best rather than renting a tux and never bought a class ring and when it came to getting a yearbook, I scrimped and saved. I wasn't ostracized and didn't feel underprivileged. What we really need is a return to old-fashioned values.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    May 27, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    To us "old folks", it is just a silly ritual. But not to these students, they want the opportunity to be recognized for their hard work, just like the rest of their classmates.
    This week, I paid for my grandson to get his cap and gown for the ceremony. It just about broke my heart that his parents couldn't afford it, so he was not going to walk.
    I also wish there was a link to where we could donate.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    May 27, 2014 12:51 p.m.

    This is really sad.

    Of all kids, poor kids who have made it through HS, perhaps as the first diploma recipient in their families, ought to be able to walk proudly across the stage.

    When I graduated a few centuries ago, there was no cap and gown fee. The school district had (or had suppliers for) caps and gowns that were loaned to us at no charge. They were in a variety of sizes and in the colors of the different schools in the district. They were used by graduating classes for years; we did not keep them (who the heck needs to keep their HS cap and gown anyway?) We did get to keep the tassel.

    Some of those charitable groups that eagerly collect or buy prom dresses, tuxes, and accessories for low-income kids because "no one should miss their senior prom" ought to step forward and spring for commencement attire. While prom is an important part of our high school years, it's that piece of parchment and what it represents that will serve these kids better in the future and it deserves recognition.

  • pwlohse Dueren, 00
    May 27, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    I graduated from a school and university in Germany and was never required to wear the "black robes of a false priesthood". Let them graduate in jeans and t-shirts. Who cares what they wear, it is what they have learned that counts.

  • YBH Sugarland, TX
    May 27, 2014 9:58 a.m.


    Are you suggesting those poor students who can not afford $40 on graduation ceremony somehow would rather attend prom? have your ever attended a prom? do you know how much does it cost?

    For you to suggest a student who can not even spare $40 but magically would spend hundreds of dollars on a prom is just mean spirited.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    May 27, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    The same thing goes for yearbooks. In this age of desktop publishing, every school should be creating their own yearbooks. The price for them is ridiculous. A single company provides both yearbooks and cap & gown. When I complained to the administrator, he was surprised. Why didn't I like [blank] company? He thought they were great. Makes me wonder if they give a kickback. Same company sells graduation announcements. Way overpriced. We live in a modest, rural area; people can't afford these things. We made our own and, thankfully, most of the kids create their own also. Over the years we've received loads of handmade announcements. Much better than the overpriced standard: extra envelope, school mascot on announcement cover, little card that flutters out when you open it.

    Some kids get even though. The policy is to allow zero decoration of cap or gown. Violate that mandate, and you don't get to walk across the stage. So now many of the kids now wear their protest underneath their papery costume. Bikinis and loud rude t-shirts or shorts lead the list.

  • Pittakos Lindon, UT
    May 27, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    It is sad that these students can't walk with their class but they've achieved much more than a ceremony. Despite circumstances, they stuck with it and they will still have a diploma to show for it. Graduation ceremonies really are just a waste of time and money. A party would be more appropriate to celebrate.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    May 27, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    I wonder how many of these students attended their prom or other entertainment their senior year? Many times even in financially impoverished homes choices need to be made as to how important an activity or item is. If they have learned they can beg for their necessities and spend their money on what they want, then I guess we as a society have helped encourage that behavior through entitlement/charity programs in our communities and government.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 27, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    Like many events and holidays, this is yet another place for some industry to make a ton of money. Like "school pictures", it should cost a fraction of what is charged. The cap and gown I wore for my graduation should have cost $5 at the most to make.

    Every high school and college should have a room full of these things that graduates can rent for about $5. If you want to keep it for sentimental reasons, it should still be way cheaper than they currently are.

    May 27, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    So a kid whose family is struggling needs to sit out the ceremony of accomplishment. These are kids who are going to have to be dedicated and work very hard to go to college, but we want to show them that it's really not for them anyway? Pathetic.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 27, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    On reflection, it does seem ridiculous that any student, much less one whose family struggles to put food on the table, is required to rent clothes for a one time event.

    All acknowledgements to the value of rite and tradition, sometimes you have to accept the silliness of this particular exercise.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 27, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    Can the DN post a link to where we can go to sponsor a student?

  • sj Spanish Fork, UT
    May 27, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    Why do we even wear caps and gowns? They were basically designed for clerics to keep them warm. Caps and gowns are traditional - They aren't necessary. Think about it for a minute. Why do we do this? To make us all look the same at graduation? If a child earned their diploma, they should be able to walk across the stage and be recognized for their hard work. And they should be able to walk in jeans and a tee shirt if that's all they have. Why spend money for something so stupid. For those kids in Texas $40 could feed their family for a week. It is a lot more then $40 for the kids in Utah