Decision To Hold High School Graduation Indoors Met With Resistance

Graduation season is here, and students are excited about the upcoming change. However, due to the decision to hold the graduation ceremony inside, one graduating high school class is less enthusiastic and trying to make a change.

Last month during April’s East Stroudsburg Area School District (ESASD) Regular Board Meeting, the announcement that the East Stroudsburg South High School graduation will be held indoors was made. The decision came from the school’s principals and the superintendent, and students are not happy. A petition was launched three weeks ago with the hopes of convincing the administration to reverse the decision.

The petition states, “The class of 2022 is scheduled to graduate inside this year unfortunately. As a senior of the class of 2022, we were all under the impression that we would be graduating outside due to the class of 2021 graduating on our home turf. We had no say in whether we could graduate on the turf or inside, nor were we ever asked what we wanted as a class. Graduating in our own purple pit (football stadium) in front of our high school for the last four years is an experience none of us will never forget. Sign this petition so the class of 2022 can experience a true graduation in the purple pit!”

During the May 16 ESASD Regular Board Meeting, Wayne Rohner, East Stroudsburg Area School District Board Member, raised a motion to hold graduation outside. During the ensuing discussion, board members cited concerns about inclement weather that could potentially postpone the event, causing additional challenges for extended family traveling a long distance to attend, as the reason to hold the graduation indoors. “There’s parents and grandparents that come from afar. If it becomes an issue with scheduling, and they have to move it, now you’re talking about hundreds of grandparents who are not gonna get to see their grandkids graduate,” said Steven Lurry, East Stroudsburg Area School District Board Member. Rebecca Bear, a fellow board member, added, “Our policy clearly states that it’s up to the superintendent and the principal. It’s our job as the board to support the policy. The reason I voted yes to bring on the agenda is so we can discuss this in public, so the public knows who is making the decision and why we are making the decisions we are making.” After the discussion period, a vote to have graduation outside was held. Rohner was the only vote in favor. East Stroudsburg South High School’s graduation is scheduled for June 11.

See the May 16 ESASD Regular Board Meeting below. Discussions regarding the graduation start at the 1:49:00 mark.

The petition has already gained nearly 900 signatures and that number is climbing, if you are interested in signing a link could be found below: Petition

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