Monday, December 22, 2014

Second Candidate for Graduation Fee Extortion - Montgomery Blair HS

Montgomery Blair HS in Silver Spring MD charges its students to walk down the aisle and receive their diploma.


Here is the information sheet, straight off the school website:

In 2010, when my child graduated from Blair, the fee was a bit higher - but the fee covered items such as the senior picnic, the honorarium for the speaker, and other"graduation venue related costs."

The bus fee is another example of extortion.  Parents and families have to travel to the graduation venue, why make the kids pay for a bus?  Metro is cheaper.  Most of the students leave the venue directly to continue the celebration with their families - so they essentially are subsidizing transportation without receiving a benefit.  And what about those magnet families that don't live in the area?

Great job, Mrs. Johnson.  At least you aren't collecting fees this year for a graduation speaker!


  1. I actually don't understand why they hold graduations in Constitution Hall. It's a nice venue but do the kids even appreciate it? I graduated from Whitman in the 80's and we went there. What a pain in the butt!!! Many schools in other areas have it in their own stadium or gym/theatre. Where did this even get started. Now as a parent I dislike it even more. I hate going into DC. My question is if they do build that large complex near Shady Grove, and they move graduations there, will it change fees at all. Probably not. I bet it even goes higher.

    1. Graduation fees are illegal. MCPS can put graduation where ever they want, it's still free for the students.

      Right now, each MCPS high school is given $5,000 to pay for graduation. There are no legal fees that can be charged students for attending their own graduation. The fees collected DO NOT show up in the MCPS Operating Budget and DO NOT contribute to Maintenance of Effort funding.

      Graduation Fees are illegal and EXTORTION. Why are we teaching our high school graduates that it's OK to violate their rights? What lesson does this give these young adults going forward? The lesson it gives them is that it is OK in life to be dishonest and to violate the rights of others. How's that working out for society?

  2. Magnet Mom - While I hate going to Constitution Hall too, since they are, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BUS. Having TEENAGERS show up in their own sweet time would be madness. You want everyone there, and on time, and safe. Using a bus makes sure the majority of everyone gets there at the time you want them there. Since kids have to be there earlier, if everyone drove there, you'd have stressed out kids driving crazy to get there (not all parents would be driving), there wouldn't be enough parking, kids would be running in gowns and suits to get to the hall from BF Egypt or wherever they parked. It's chaos enough using buses. Everyone driving would be crazy. Funding the buses, or how it is done, might be an issue. But as a parent who has been through this, no way do you want kids driving themselves into DC. Remember graduations are usually on a weekday not weekend. So parking and traffic suck. I'm all for finding a closer venue, but until they do, I'm all for buses.

    1. @Chris. No, you don't have to have a bus. None of the other schools have to have a bus!

      The students show up.
      Really, it's time to stop dissing students. These are graduates, they are now adults. They show up for their graduations.

      It's time for this next generation of adults to learn their RIGHTS under the Maryland Constitution.


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