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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Enjoy graduation with grace

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm


Graduation is fast approaching at Central High School. I may be a bit premature in my graduation column, but we are starting to work on our special graduation edition of the paper around here so it’s on my mind. (Parents, try not to drip tears on the paper. Ink smears.)

Of course recollections of my graduation come flooding back. A flood would have cooled things down, that’s for sure. It was in the gym and I was sweating like an Eskimo in the desert. I had one of those “illegal” confetti poppers under my gown that I, of course, popped while under my gown. When I stood up to finally start “walking the line” it looked like a three-year-olds birthday party fell apart and crumbled to the floor. Shew. I’m lucky they still gave me my diploma because that was “frowned upon.” I didn’t have many moments of rebellion beyond that.

I want to encourage the seniors to live it up for this last week or so until graduation. Don’t do anything stupid and file litigation against the paper because that editor said it was OK. (The Manchester Times does not encourage delinquent activities. There – consider that a disclaimer.)

Kids can do some pretty stupid things as senioritis starts to really take over. I will leave out names and specifics. But I guess something about graduating in the foreseeable future leaves one to find it necessary to go number two on a public slide or get drunk and stumble up to school officials who are questioning your friend for, of all things, drinking.

What’s more perplexing about these senioritis-diagnosed activities are some of the parents’ reactions. I think some of them have lingering senioritis themselves.

“Well, I can’t say much, we did it when we were in school.”

I can see the judge’s reaction now: “well, in that case, you are innocent son. Have a great summer.”

Parents need to relax, especially over these last couple of weeks, but exercise extreme caution. One night doesn’t make a kid an adult – especially a night that isn’t quite here. Kids will be inclined to engage in activities void of any common sense to exercise the demons of confinement away to the better world of independence.

But let’s remember boys, girls, moms and dads – there isn’t a lot of independence in not walking the line for pulling some stupid prank and there isn’t anything funny about damaging public property or ending up in a hospital bed after a drag-racing accident.

Please be careful, enjoy it, and congratulations to the class of 2013.

-Josh Peterson is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer and is the editor of the Manchester Times. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29.