Circuit Court Upholds School’s Decision to Bar Student from Participating in Graduation Ceremony


It’s that time of year – finals, prom, senior trips, parties….and senior pranks. Year after year administrators attempt to curb this “perceived” rite of passage for seniors and maintain discipline and order in the school buildings the last few weeks of school. Administrators find themselves short of consequences for those graduating seniors who will matriculate into jobs, junior college, or universities across the nation after leaving high school. Many administrators have opted to take graduation events off the table for those graduating seniors who violate school policies and rules. A Cook County Circuit Court affirmed a school district’s ability to discipline students by barring a student from participating in graduation related events.

On Wednesday, June 1, 2011, Judge Kathleen M. Pantle denied a motion for an emergency injunction filed by parents of a graduating senior whose senior prank involved printing obscene pictures on a school computer and dropping the pictures down a New Trier High School stairwell. The school suspended the student for the remainder of the year and barred the student’s participation in the graduation ceremony and graduation party.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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