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High School Class President to miss graduation to attend Sabbath.

Posted by on May. 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM
  • 29 Replies

We're supposed to feel bad for kids like teenaged Patrick Knighton. He's a good kid, the class president who is going to miss out on flipping his tassel and accepting his diploma with the rest of his class. Why? Because theschool won't change the date of its graduation to help Knighton out.

Is anyone else just not feeling much sympathy here? Harsh? Maybe. Realistic? Absolutely. Because this happens every year. A family ends up in the media complaining that their school is full of a bunch of Meany McMeanersons who won't change a ceremony for dozens (hundreds?) of kids just to accommodate one child's schedule.

In Knighton's case, that would mean his New Hampshire high school canceling the Saturday graduation ceremonies because religious obligations keep him from attending. He's a 7th Day Adventist, and Saturday is his Sabbath.

Credit goes to the Knighton family. They petitioned for the change, but they've raised a kid who is a class act. He says he respects the people who made the decision, and he's taking it in stride.

But the fact that they petitioned at all throws me. Yes, we all want our kids to have the very best advantages in life. But with hundreds of students, schools have to try to make as many people happy at once as they can. It's up to parents to teach their kids to roll with that, not the other way around.

Weekend graduation ceremonies, in general, make the most sense for the biggest number of families. They allow for parents to attend without having to take time off work. They allow time for family to come in from out of the area. But someone is always going to have an issue. There will be religious issues -- on Saturdays for not just 7th Day Adventists, but Jewish folks too, of course; Sundays for Christians. There will be families who have another graduation to attend that day. There will be doctors appointments and dance recitals, family emergencies and weddings.

Flipped around, and the same can be said for any of those events, that a graduation popped up on the schedule and is getting in the way. It's called life. And that's what we're prepping our kids for, right?

Not to throw a fit every time something doesn't go their way, but to make hard choices? To decide if it's more important to go to Great Uncle Bob's funeral or attend Susie's piano recital, to hold to your religious convictions or look the other way for one night to attend a graduation ceremony?

Do you think parents should argue for schools to move graduation ceremonies for their one kid? What's the bigger lesson: teaching kids to stick up for themselves or teaching them to stand by their convictions?

http://thestir.cafemom.com/teen/120685/one_kid_shouldnt_get_to


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by on May. 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM
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Replies (1-10):
godsgirl26
by on May. 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM

i have a friend that is a 7day Adventist and he dont do anything on that day. dont go anywhere, dont spend money, nothing. i dont feel that should change the date just for this kid.. im sorry but that is crazy.

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on May. 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Wow, does the family think the world revolves around them? What would possess them to petition for a different day?  I feel bad that this conflicts with their religious observance,  but in a general thing like this, the day has to be the day.  Can you imagine if everyone had to approve the schedule?

Veni.Vidi.Vici
by on May. 23, 2011 at 1:13 PM

In our town all HS grad. ceremonies are held on Sunday afternoon.

parrishsky
by Maxfield on May. 23, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Our high school graduations have always been on a Saturday. I'm sorry he's missing his graduation but don't feel everyone else should adjust for him.

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on May. 23, 2011 at 1:17 PM

 I think church is skippable in general but I think this once in a lifetime event trumps a every weekend event!

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on May. 23, 2011 at 1:17 PM
Graduation is always on Saturday where I grew up... You know the date a year in advance.

Sorry kid but life sucks sometimes
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Kaelansmom
by on May. 23, 2011 at 1:18 PM

While I admire the kid's and family's convictions... that is a bit much to change the date, just to accommodate one person, especially if the other families have already made plans..

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on May. 23, 2011 at 1:22 PM
I think it's more important to teach him to roll with the punches than expect special treatment. Also to prioritize. How many Sabbaths will he have vs graduations?
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RepentantSinner
by Member on May. 23, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I admire his conviction to stick to his religious convictions. On the other hand I think it was a bit presumptious to even ask them to move the date in the first place for 1 kid when most graduations are typically on a Saturday. The ONLY way I could see this even remotely being an option was if he came from a graduating class of say 30 like myself.

kshepherd
by Member on May. 23, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Why doesn't he just miss a church service and go to his graduation?  My graduation was in the middle of the week.  I thought most schools were.

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