Meadowdale High School withholds diploma after proposal during graduation

Graduation ended with an extra special celebration for two Meadowdale High School seniors last week when Jack Graham pretended to fall down, then produced a ring and asked his girlfriend Rachael Green to marry him. She said yes, and they walked across the stage hand in hand.

But Meadowdale school officials were not so happy about the disruption to the graduation ceremony, as the names of the students who followed them were drowned out in cheering. When Graham went to retrieve his diploma on Monday, it was withheld.

“The principal at the school thought it was a teachable moment to have the student reflect on how his decision impacted other people, especially the students who followed the proposal,” District Spokeswoman Debbie Joyce Jakala said. “It usurped that student’s moment in the spotlight. Graduation should be for all of the students, and graduation should be about graduation.”

Graham’s diploma was withheld again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, it was released to him.

“It was never an intent to not provide his diploma,” Jakala said. “I understand he has apologized publicly and we are moving on from there. We congratulate Graham, his fiancee and the entire Class of 2016.”

Graham did apologize during a story by Jesse Jones on KIRO 7.

The couple told Jones that their plan is to wait until after college to tie the knot.

As for future students planning a similar stunt, Jakala says it is not allowed.

“All of the graduates are reminded at each graduation and at each rehearsal prior that they remain students and are subject to district rules,” Jakala said. “One of our rules is you don’t disrupt graduation. They operate on a very tight timeline, and the focus during that time should be on the graduation. It is not a chance to showboat, it is not a chance to draw attention to yourself if it is going to take away from one of your classmates.”

–By Natalie Covate, with additional reporting by Larry Vogel

  1. He shouldn’t be punished for the prank, he SHOULD be punished for getting married to his high school girlfriend. Big mistake Jack, call it off and see if you can return the ring. Live a little before putting on the ‘ol ball and chain.

  2. Guillermo – They aren’t getting married immediately. They are both attending college first and then getting married. So, they’ll have a nice long engagement. Two sentences from the article, “Graham did apologize during a story by Jesse Jones on KIRO 7.

    The couple told Jones that their plan is to wait until after college to tie the knot.”

  3. When I graduated from highschool many years ago, our Student Body President and his very pregnant girlfriend, both graduating, were married that night. That was a time when many were married at 18 years old although I was the lone exception. So the above was not shocking to me. There are so many more critical things going on in the world today……

  4. seems to me . . .

    if there was a lot of cheering…

    whoever was calling out the names, if they had any sense, would have held back and waited for the applause to die down…

    instead of blaming the kids!

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