Tebowing results in intercepted diploma

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It’s graduation time throughout this great nation of ours.  Which means that, as students prepare to escape the rules and regulations of the provincial fiefdoms that have exercised (or at least tried to exercise) control over their actions, words, and thoughts for the past four years, they’ll periodically attempt to display the kind of individualism that too many schools try to stifle.

At Bishop Verot in Fort Myers, Florida, Chuck Shriner was denied his diploma after Tebowing in front of the school’s principal, according to the Naple News, via multiple other sites.

“They said what I did would give underclassmen inspiration to do something else, that it might lead to something else,” said Shriner, who eventually got his sheepskin after sweeping up the gym after the ceremony.  “So they were trying to set an example.”

That’s the excuse that routinely is given for what in reality may be one last, desperate effort to subject a departing student to policies that are, all too often, arbitrary and capricious and downright foolish.  Action should be taken only when the student does something obviously improper and disrespectful.  Defying the “because I said so” proclamation of the principal doesn’t cut it, no matter how delusional the principal has become regarding the extent of his or her power.

So lighten up, Francis, Sandy baby, and every other stiff-lipped ruler-wielding educator who has trouble accepting the fact that, every year, 25 percent of the inmates walk out of the prison.  Indulging — and celebrating — a creative impulse will go a long way toward nurturing the kind of outside-the-box thinking that will help a possible leader emerge from a throng of kids whom the principals would, in many situations, prefer to remain followers.

And if Tebowing or Bradying or Faith Hilling or Taylor Swifting ultimately becomes something that truly crosses the line (like, say, Gene Simmonsing, from either end), that’s when the powers-that-be should use their power one last time against the responsible student.

35 responses to “Tebowing results in intercepted diploma

  1. I hate that the act of an athlete getting down on his knees to thank his GOD is called “Tebowing”. Plenty of athletes in all sports have done it and the first time I saw it was in 86 with Mark Bavarro in the SuperBowl against Denver. Thanks to ESPN which also calls the “Peoples Champ” gesture the discount double check. Stupid.

  2. I wish it was like the old days when graduates just spiked their diploma and did a little dance.


  3. I would hate to be a high school kid these days there are constant stories that make me utterly baffled about principals and school officials on total power trips. Yesterday about 60 highschool seniors got suspended for the day and can’t walk in graduation now because they all biked to school with a police escort/the mayor bringing them to school. The principal went on some ridiculous power trip and suspended them all for the day and is trying to stop them from being able to walk.

  4. It’s true. In the misplaced name of discipline our education system is creating more followers than leaders, especially in the K-12 time period. As long as you don’t stand out from the crowd, the powers that be are happy with you. If they have 1200 clones in a high school, it makes the principal’s job easier, and he or she is a lazy human being like most , so that’s the way they like it. No wonder we are becoming a welfare society.

  5. Their school, their rules, whether they made them up on the spot or not. Don’t like it, go somewhere else. I like that you usually do football stories, but the more you pontificate, the less likely I am to return. Freedom of choice.

  6. C’mon. What is wrong with complying with rules? They were not oppressive in any way. Those rules are designed to make the event go smoothly for everyone with zero chance of offending anybody. The kid wanted to “express himself” as an individual in an inappropriate time. Just walk up, shake hands, get your diploma and walk off so the next kid can do the same. Is that hard? People break simple rules and then complain about the consequences. I agree that some administrators go overboard on their power trips but that is no different than the students that go overboard by trying to gain the spotlight, attention or fame associated with breaking a known rule in the most public of ways.

  7. I’d personally rather be in a school with too many rules that be stuck on the island from Lord of the Flies.

  8. Good, teach these kids a lesson before they get out of control. Next thing you know they’ll all be throwing their graduation caps in the air in an orchestrated act of defiance and immaturity.

  9. The relevance of this story to pro football is tenuous at best. The student was reprimanded for being disruptive, not specifically because he Tebowed. And yet here we all are (myself included), commenting.

  10. Well technically going to a knee to celebrate is against the rules in the NFL too.

    I don’t see you making a big stink about the commissioner’s power trip over guys 3-4 years older than this high school student getting a penalty/fine for celebrating their first NFL touchdown/sack/whatever.

  11. advice for people who walk around with a big stick up your butt for the whole world to see… when trying to solve that delicate problem, focus your attention on the stick and not on the world that sees.

  12. good lord. those high school graduation ceremonies are long (and boring) enough. it would be unbearable to suffer through dozens of nerdy teenagers trying to outdo each other with their own interpretations of what you refer to as “individualism.”

  13. The Principal did the right thing. You wouldn’t believe some of the ideas I have heard for going across the stage. If you allow this one kid do “Tebowing,” you just encourage others. Depending on the number of graduates, the ceremony will take forever.

    If this kid wanted so much attention, he would have become Valedictorion. They give entire speeches.

  14. Change the title of this article to “Roger Goodells management style”. Because you just described to me exactly how he operates. He is a cowardly, sneaky, snakey don’t care about anybody but himself selfish spoiled rich white american wanta-be man. I say that and i am white. Roger gives all men a bad name. If i were Jon Vilma i would have traveled to new York, walked in Goodells office and punched him right in the face! Then i woulda felt better about myself during my suspension knowing Roger is being fed thru a tube until doctors can figure out how to reconstruct his crushed face! Im starting to lose respect for all 32 team owners for allowing this guy to continue to destroy the NFL. Must be Goodell is behaving exactly the way they want him too. So basically all 32 owners are just as guilty as Goodell is for allowing him to destroy the NFL. Geaux Saints!

  15. Man, come on. If you do anything inappropriate when walking across the stage and getting your diploma, you’re going to be reprimanded. I don’t care what superstar you imitated.

    I actually think it was hilarious that he had to clean the gym afterwards, lol. I’ve done some messed up stuff in H.S. but it never got that bad.

    Plus, he got his diploma after all. It’s not like they held it.

  16. School authorities later explained that Chuck’s total lack of co-ordination and body awareness resulted in a nearly unrecogonizable form of “Tebowing”.

    “We thought he was ‘Hotdogging’. Or suffering a Grand Mal Seizure. We were worried he might put the diploma in his mouth and choke on it. Honorary degrees for special needs students are thicker and larger than normal.”.

  17. Florio, I’m beginning to think you don’t like rules…of any kind. Whatever the rule that anyone tries to enforce, you object. You give examples of rules you’d agree to, but if that was the rule violated, you’d take exception to it as well.
    True story:
    At lunch one afternoon, I sat next to a couple lawyers. One was talking about a client he’d seen that morning. He was describing her as “totally crazy…She came into the office and wanted to sue the city for requiring her dog to wear a license tag because the color didn’t fit his collar.”
    “Your kidding,” said the other. “What did you tell her.”
    “Well, she has a lot of money…I told she has a case.”
    The point being, anything can be argued for or against…It’s a matter of whether it’s worth the time and if you have the money. You seem to simply like to argue.

  18. Tebowing 7 months after it’s been played out is neither creative impulse nor out-of-the-box thinking.

  19. the funny part is this is a private Catholic school (one of the best in Florida). They probably spent the last 2 years putting Tebow on a pedestal (pulpit) as a fine Christian role model, and this is what the kid gets for actually listening/emulating.

  20. Gotta give credit to the kid. From what Florio’s posted, he swept up the gym after the ceremony and collected his diploma. He didn’t hire a lawyer and sue.

  21. Why the complaining? If those kinds of acts were free of consequence then they wouldn’t be worth remembering or commenting on, since everybody would be doing them left and right.

    It’s precisely b/c there’s a potential penalty attached that makes the act of doing them so interesting to observers. The willingness to risk paying that price is what separates folk like this kid from the lemmings 😀

  22. The feel good part of this story is that after sweeping the gym, Chuck now has degrees in engineering, horticulture, business administration, law, and dentistry, in addition to his own. Plus four Fine Arts degrees that he didn’t bother keeping.

  23. “Tebowing” is happening at all levels, evidence by a graduate who “Tebowed” this past weekend at my law school graduation, one who graduated Magna Cum Laude at that. Of course, no administrators took any silly action against him, and we all just had a good laugh.

  24. shaunypoo says: May 23, 2012 11:14 AM

    Their school, their rules, whether they made them up on the spot or not. Don’t like it, go somewhere else. I like that you usually do football stories, but the more you pontificate, the less likely I am to return. Freedom of choice.
    Well, in that case, goodbye, good luck, and don’t let the door hit you in the backside on your way out. First of all, it’s not THEIR school. It’s the community’s school, paid for with local tax revenue. Principals are hired (that makes them a community servant) to oversee the operation of the school so as to ensure that it provides the best possible learning environment for the kids. Trying to rob kids of their individual identities or train them to simply repeat back whatever beliefs their teachers want to hear is not a good learning environment.

  25. tackleberries says: May 23, 2012 2:57 PM

    I work at a school where the administration enforces no rules. Guess how that’s going?
    Of course that won’t work. The point is that extreme positions, on any side of any issue, are likely to cause more problems than they solve. The answer, as in pretty much all aspects, is balance. Teach the kids to follow appropriate rules, rules that prevent chaos and encourage kids to demonstrate proper manners and consideration for others. Don’t inundate them who countless unnecessary rules that do nothing but stifle their independence and their ability to come to their own conclusions about right and wrong. Doing so will either create someone incapable of true free thought or someone who rebels against any attempt to place rules or limitations on them.

  26. Florio must not have been to many HS Graduations lately.

    Even when the audience is asked BEFORE diplomas are handed out to show restraint (and politely applaud a graduate if they choose to) it turns into a circus.

    Friend and family SCREAM the graduate’s name (not unlike if he had been kidnapped and presumed dead for 5 years and suddenly reappeared) and juniors do the same thing. Of course it’s not enough for a parent to take a photo of the handshake from your auditorium seat. A member of the family must run up to the stage itself and get a close up!

    I refuse to go to them anymore.

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