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The Tongva Times

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Viewpoints: Should students be recognized with cords and sashes during graduation?

Graduation should praise anyone and everyone for their successes 

By Oralis Ward | Staff Writer

   High school graduation, a vital stage in a student’s life, is an important ceremony for all individuals to complete high school and to show their ability to earn a standard high school diploma, an accomplishment on its own. With a gown and tassel at hand, it’s absolutely damaging when there’s a hierarchy or some type of recognition for the students who wear honor cords during commencement.  

   As seen on the students’ blue robe, there are many different colors of cords that individually reflect a different academic achievement. In the past, a Gabrielino graduation displayed students with the most cords towards the front of the graduates and students with the least amount towards the back. Along with this, students with cords are acknowledged in the middle of the ceremony, despite receiving recognition during Senior Awards Night. 

   Suppose graduation is a milestone to the students surpassing the magnitude of high school. In that case, it’s necessary that Gabrielino moves away from its tradition and honor each student equally, no matter if they excelled in their studies. 

   According to Cord, a website with an interview from Christian George, an associate professor in psychology, states that “there is research that looks at the extent to which people base their self-esteem on different things, one of them being academic performance.”  

   It’s possible for some students to feel self-conscious for not receiving a cord. There are plenty of reasons why one may have these feelings, as these graduates could perhaps feel as if their accomplishments to their own ability or circumstances were not enough. Regardless of the reason, academic insecurity is a real thing.

   In fact, senior Elliott Gray of Gabrielino High School, states that although she appreciates Gabrielino congratulating other students who worked hard in their academics, she “understands why other students could feel insecure about their position [over] grades.” 

         In the course of the commencement, it’s important to consider the way each student is placed before the stage. It’s undermining and belittling at the very least. Graduation concentrates on an individual’s milestone, not who did it “best”. Although the graduates who were able to achieve enough to earn a cord are equally appreciated, there is already an official celebration for those individuals, adding no benefit to reinstate appreciation at graduation.

   According to Ehow, the website states that “the purpose of a high school graduation ceremony is to celebrate students who have successfully met graduation’s academic and extracurricular requirements.”

  Based on this, perhaps graduation could concentrate on moving forward to the next stage of a student’s life, not by honoring specific students who reached high academic standards, but everyone as a whole. Perhaps Gabrielino should arrange the graduates in alphabetical order and still allow cords to be commemorated. This way, it leaves no room for other students to feel invalidated. 

   In conclusion, graduation is a celebration of all students, meaning instead of dedicating graduation to the few whose efforts reflect in their GPA, but saluting all who made it to the end of their senior year.

91 seniors responded to both polls during the week of May 9

Academically successful seniors should be awarded for their achievements 

By Ashley Sanchez | Production Chief 

   As the school year comes to a close, the long awaited anticipation for seniors to finally walk across the stage at graduation marks an important milestone in their lives. For some students, graduation is their chance to get recognized for their achievements and it’s not a question that they deserve this attention in light of their hard work with cords and sashes. 

   Seniors involved in programs such as Journalism, Yearbook, Speech & Debate, FBLA, MESA, National Honors Society (NHS), and the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) are amongst the students who receive cords and sashes in honor of their involvement. 

   Years dedicated to community service, state and national competitions, maintaining a high GPA, and preparations for their future, these students prevailed in all aspects of their high school careers. 

   According to USA Stationary Blog, “Graduation Cord expresses as an extra honorable badge of excellence, which you will be awarded while receiving a diploma or degree by the college or school officials. Graduation cord is a universal award that is placed around the neck of the student`s to reflect their excellence.”

   Throughout their academic careers in high school, students who receive these cords have dedicated their time to extracurricular activities and programs.  

    Past Gabrielino High School graduation attendee and Attendance Clerk, Lisa Leon stated, “These students are awarded at Senior Award Night with their cords and very much deserve the recognition for their hard work, I think any student can do it, if they really try.” 

   These activities have required them to be driven and hone their skills that go beyond the classroom and as they transition into college, the cords are a representation of that hard work they carry with them. 

  According to the Tassel Depot, “Cords with tassels were used dating back to the 14th century to represent levels of learning which is similar to the type of Academic Regalia that we still have today…the graduation tassel attached to a mortar board for a school or college, represents a belonging to a particular class that has completed its goals.”

   High school graduations are meant to highlight students who have met the academic and extracurricular requirements to graduate. By giving students cords, the school highlights not only the honor of transitioning into college but educational excellence for their dedication. 

   “I don’t think that honoring students with cords and sashes is a bad thing,” stated senior Karina Fong. “I think it’s a good thing that they get celebrated for their accomplishments.” 

    Students have spent their educational careers learning and utilizing resources from school to hone their knowledge as they prepare to go out into the real world and graduation is a celebration of that. 

   Acknowledging the students who dedicated themselves to excelling in immersive programs does not take away from the accomplishments of all students, it simply highlights that their perseverance is honored in the way that they deserve.

    Counselor Monica Hagge stated, “Our kids have worked really hard to get where they are and achieve their academic goals. If we can honor them in any way that we can, I think that we should.”

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Viewpoints: Should students be recognized with cords and sashes during graduation?