For families and kids, graduation and embarking on the next chapter of life is a time of celebration.
At Saugus HS (MA) a total of six lacrosse players and a baseball player were suspended from postseason play after lighting up some cigars to celebrate their graduation after the ceremony, the Boston Globe notes.
The kids made no attempt to hide it, as it apparently had come to be a tradition of sorts at the school the past several years. The kids lit up their cigars in front of parents, teachers, and even administration. One player shared that he’d seen it done at every graduation he’d ever been to. The rule simply hadn’t been enforced in years past, but for whatever reason, the school decided to make an example of the kids that took part this year.
While it’s something that many of us (including me) never had cross our mind on the day you walk across the stage at your high school, do a simple Google search for “high school graduation cigars,” and you’ll be surprised how widespread the tradition appears to be nationwide.
Most schools, including the Saugus Public Schools system, has a policy prohibiting the use of tobacco products on school grounds, or at school events. As a state, the MIAA also has a rule banning tobacco use.
The Globe points out that the lacrosse team, missing all but one of their seniors, lost their playoff game 17-3 and entered the tournament as the last seed.
As coaches, this is cautionary tale of what can happen when school and state policies are broke, even if individuals or groups had chosen not to enforce those rules for years and years beforehand. Be cognizant of these type of policies at your school and in your state governing bodies to avoid similar situations.