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High School Sports

High schooler’s diploma withheld after he Tebows on stage during commencement

A silly stunt by a senior at a high school in Florida resulted in swift punishment and the withholding of his diploma after he Tebowed during the school’s commencement ceremony.

During the graduation ceremony at Bishop Verot, a Catholic high school located in Fort Myers, Fla., senior Chuck Shriner struck the pose, made famous by New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow last season when he was with the Broncos, as he crossed the stage and approached the school’s principal. Despite the laughter and applause from those in attendance, Shriner’s diploma was withheld from him and he received the punishment of having to clean the school’s gymnasium, the location of the graduation ceremony.

Shriner had no idea his little joke — which he admitted he did on a dare and for $5 (although insisting he would have done it regardless of the paltry financial compensation) — would cause such a stir. And such a punishment, saying, “”I just thought it was fun” and adding, “I was just doing it to make graduation memorable.”

Later that day, Shriner posted the following message on his Facebook page a message that showed he had no regrets for his impromptu pose: “Moment in my life I’ll never forget, getting my diploma taken away for doing the Tebow on stage in front of (Principal John) Cavell. So worth it.”

According to Shriner, officials at the school told him that the harsh punishment and withholding of Shriner’s diploma was the school’s attempt to dissuade future graduating classes from pulling the same or different stunts:

“They said what I did would give underclassmen inspiration to do something else, that it might lead to something else,” Shriner said about the administration’s reaction. “So they were trying to set an example.”

School officials informed Shriner that they will consider giving his diploma to his mother. Fair enough, right? But here’s where the story takes a bizarre turn: the idea of the punishment came from Shriner’s mother, who happens to be a math teacher at the high school. Harsh.

Shriner’s mother eventually picked up her son’s diploma on his behalf, but Shriner told the Naples News after cleaning the gym on Monday that his mom was still “really mad,” but even with his mother coming down hard on him for his Tebowing, maintained that “it was worth it.” Good for you, kid. And at least his mother can take solace in the fact that he didn’t take a cardboard cutout as his date to prom, right? Imagine the controversy that would have erupted from that stunt. Yikes.

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