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Recrimination on Graduation

June 29, 1986

Open letter to Dr. Bruce Rhoades, principal, San Pedro High School:

A strange thing happened to me on June 18. I attended my daughter's graduation ceremonies at San Pedro High.

I was there when the graduation class did their waves. I also saw the three beach balls they were tossing around. I thought both were harmless fun.

When you walked off the field because of this and ended the graduation, you left too soon.

You should have seen Maria Amalfitano trying to give her speech to the audience without the microphone (which you had shut off) and while the band was leaving.

You missed the faces of the parents who were so excited at the achievement of their children that many of them had brought flowers to the event.

You did not get a chance to see those that had tears in their eyes because there was no graduation and they were robbed of the event.

I am sure many of them had to take time off from work to attend. They were there because they and their children had worked very hard for this day.

They were cheated out of the event because you had a massive temper tantrum and walked away.

What kind of example did you hope to set by doing this? The child was the one who left, not the few who were slightly unruly and could and should have been controlled. How could you allow a few to ruin a day for so many and be controlled by a very small group of students? What leadership example do you think you set by this?

What will you say to the students who had worked hard for their honors and rewards, but will never receive their recognition?

Their graduation is ruined forever; they will not be back. Unfortunately for those remaining, you will.

DONALD E. MARTIN

San Pedro

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