To the Culver City School Administrators:
Thank you for a memorable graduation ceremony. My family has looked forward to this day for 12 years. My son worked hard and earned the right to walk proudly across that stage to receive the diploma he earned. Thank you for loudly telling him and every one in a sports arena “Congratulations! You graduated . . . just not very well.”
I have no problem recognizing those students who achieved awards for their combination of hard work and good luck. But I do have a problem when you publicly set the rest of our children up as the group the gold star kids are compared to.
One of the administrators asked the students who earned an award to stand and be recognized, five times, each group of awardees given a moment to be applauded. My son was one of the hundreds of graduates left sitting, looking up at all the same people who consistently outshone them for the last six years.
Thanks Culver school administrators for taking one last opportunity to tell our children that this is all a fierce competition and some of you are losing. Thanks especially for making sure all the grandparents were there for it.
Then came the calling of names to receive diplomas. When my family asked “Are they going up in alphabetical order?” I had to explain how the high achievers were separated from the other kids. They were angry and a bit ashamed and said “God forbid the special kids have to mingle with the riff raff.”
High achievers deserve to be recognized. There are special ceremonies for that. This wasn’t one of those ceremonies. Believe me, those kids have several events in which they get to be spotlighted, praised and applauded. For a very large majority of students, Graduation is the ONE day that no one says “you’re behind.” This is the day that they cross the finish line. My son will forever remember graduation day as one last time Culver District reminded him and his friends, parents and extended family that his hard work and dedication don’t matter. We all carried that warm glow for the rest of the evening. I’m doing my best to help him celebrate that, thank God, he will not be “Centaur for Life.”
Name with held in respect for my child’s dignity.
(Something only Steve Levin thought was important.)
Editor’s note – While we do not publish anonymous letters, this correspondent made their identity known to us, and requested that their name be withheld. We are respecting that request.