Throughout the land, in recent days, public high schools–and colleges, of course– have been competing with one another to see which one can produce the most stilted and asinine graduation ceremony.
A school in Texas vaulted into the lead last week by not allowing students to wear their National Honor Society ribbons, ’cause it’d make kids feel bad who weren’t in the National Honor Society (I was in it when I graduated, and I can’t say anybody noticed, much less felt slighted).
Well, that has inspired another high school to go it way better.
Elwood P. Dowd High School in Schmendrick City, Michigan, will not allow graduating seniors to use their personal names. The names will not appear on the diplomas. As Principal Sy Fistula explained, “What could be less inclusive than your personal name? It excludes everyone but you! But we won’t allow that anymore.”
Dowd is going to extraordinary lengths to achieve absolute equality among the student body. During graduation, each student will wear a large gunny sack to completely conceal his or her identity. Each will be led up by ushers to receive his or her diploma. And to avoid any hint of inequality, all of the diplomas will be exactly the same and will be handed out at random by a blindfolded teacher who will fish them out of a barrel.
And instead of a traditional anthem of any kind, said Fistula, “Our kids will sing that old favorite from China’s Maoist era, ‘The People Joyfully Carry Manure to the Fields.'”
If the graduation is as great a success as anticipated, said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mildred Blastoff, “We’ll do away with personal names all throughout the year for each and every grade in all our schools.”