We have very short speeches during graduation. The reason is that the event is about the graduates and not the adults. In APS we have a special reason for not letting school board members speak. It is not because of all of them but one specific incident at an RHS graduation. School boards have become a hot topic in recent years and a flashpoint over left/right politics. This story is not about politics in any way. It is about crazy! Many years ago we had a school board member who was a little wacky but we felt she was harmless. We felt that she was only one person in a large group and the school board climate was as volatile as it is now. She was prone to giving her opinion whether we wanted it or not. Her ideas of schools were deeply seeded in the 1930s and all that it implies. It never really was a worry until she had a forum to speak in front of a large group. She did bring out one rule during her time as a school board member. After her speech to our students, school board members have never spoken at a graduation since.
It was a crowded and very hot day for graduation. We got up to her speech and we hoped for a short and concise speech but knowing her we were ready for a long one. If you have ever been a part of a long boring speech you are aware of how easy it is to zone out. Something happened that caught us all off guard and shook us back to reality. She was talking about the produce section of the local Albertsons. She went on a five-minute tirade about watching kids in the produce section and how they were acting. Her point was a good one. She was trying to say, when you are in the world you represent your family, Rangeview, and Aurora Public Schools. It took me 15 words to make the point. She took several minutes and never said what she was trying to say. It was so convoluted and confusing that the only thing we got from it was that she shops at Albertsons and hangs out in the produce section. The story resembled a storyline for an episode of Criminal Minds instead of a graduation speech. The only good thing to come out of the speech was that school board members have never spoken at a graduation since.