Controversy over value of stoles arises right before graduation

“Students have accomplished so many great things in so many arenas. The challenge is drawing the line to recognize and not,” Samantha Wirzberger, counselor, said. There has been a debate about the graduation ceremony. Should students from clubs like Red Cross, Interact Club, Key Club, and Spanish Club be allowed to wear a sash or cord on graduation?

“So right now the traditional things that we have honored are French Honors Society, National Honors Society and Quill and Scroll (Journalism Honors Society),” said Wirzberger. “Those have been traditionally the students that walk in front of their class. They lead their class in their walk order.” New sashes for clubs like Spanish Club and Red Cross would not permit them to lead their class but it does give them recognition for participating in the club doing something. Wirzberger said “It doesn’t take away a graduation because a student has another tassel on or another chord on.” She believes that it would be fine to allow the students to wear the sashes.

Deborah Berg, French teacher and World Languages Department Chair, thinks otherwise. “I just think the issue is ridiculous because the cords have traditionally been reserved for students who are in an honors society, where they have had to have the grades, do whatever is required of them, in order to have it,” said Berg. “This is an honor society thing, it’s been going on for years, and the clubs did not get permission prior to ordering the sashes to be able to wear them.” She says that before, students could not wear any decorations to their gown unless it was preapproved by the school. “It devalues the work that the honors students put into earning the honors chords,” Berg said.

Andre Phillips wants to know what students think before he makes the final decision. That discussion took place Friday, May 29, after school.