Illinois School Board Grants Diplomas After Controversial Stalemate

GALESBURG, Ill – After a 10-day stalemate, the Galesburg High School administration decided to award five students the diplomas previously denied them at their May 27 graduation ceremony.

The school board’s decision to withhold diplomas from students whose names provoked excessive cheering sparked a host of controversy from the parent level up to the Illinois State Board of Education.  School officials say the policy was enacted to prevent a repeat of a 2005 commencement, where the crowd’s shouts and air horns rendered much of the ceremony inaudible and provoked complaints from town residents.

However, this explanation failed to satisfy the Board of Education. The board explicitly refused to support the district’s policy because it demanded that students take responsibility for behavior beyond their control.

The school board decided to relent after the affair attracted unpopular media attention, consuming excessive time and energy. Superintendent Gene Denisar feels it is time for the community to move on.

The five students have not yet told their lawyer Jeffrey Green if they wish to continue pressing for an apology from the district.

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