A high school student received a silent standing ovation from his classmates while he received his diploma on the graduation day.
Whole graduating batch stood up to congratulate Jack Higgins on his success in a silent manner as he was sensitive to loud noise.
Lou Rolio, the principal of New York Carmel High School, introduced Jack to the audience and told how he had been struggling with studies due to his autism.
Revealing that Jack is hypersensitive to loud sounds, Rolio asked the audience to refrain from hand-clapping and hooting.
“Unlike many of us, Jack is super sensitive to loud noises,” said the principal.
“I’m going to ask a big favor of everybody today. I would like everyone to not clap, and not cheer.
“That’s correct. Not clap and not cheer, because it may overstimulate Jack as he comes to the podium to receive his diploma.”
Rolio was expecting the attendees to stay quiet, but surprisingly, they covered an extra mile to make their fellow feel celebrated.
As soon as Jack crossed the stage, all his fellows supported him by giving him a silent standing ovation. The faculty and staff waved at him to show their appreciation as he walked toward the podium.
The love and support displayed by the audience compelled the principal to praise them as well.
“An amazing thing took place at Carmel High School’s graduation,” he said. “We shot for the moon, but instead reached the stars.”
Jack who put his fingers in ears to avoid the loud noise wasn’t expecting it either.
In an interview with CNN, Rolio said that Jack had been studying in his school for eight years and, like any other student, it was his right to feel congratulated on his graduation day.
“It was important to pull this off. First off for Jack, second for his family who could experience the same event as every other parent/family whose child reaches this milestone was of great importance,” he said.
“Lastly to give the opportunity to everyone in that arena a chance to assist in making one young man’s and his family’s graduation dreams a reality.”
Jack’s family who were concerned that Jack could get overwhelmed and confused at his most memorable day were delighted at the moment, which happened due to the crowd’s cooperation.
Rolio was also gratified that the audience displayed empathy and support, taking care of their school’s core values.
He told CNN: “You often have to give people the opportunity to rise to an occasion. I truly believe people have a kind, compassionate soul and they want to help and this was one of those occasions.”