In order to increase safety at graduation ceremonies the EUSD school board discusses ways to limit impacted attendance
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
EXETER – Exeter families with students ready to graduate will have to wait and see what the Exeter Unified School District wants to do about limiting impacted attendance and increasing safety.
During the Board’s Aug. 14 meeting, they discussed safety and attendance at Wilson and Exeter High School’s graduation ceremonies. According to superintendent George Eddy the District wants to ensure that families have a seat while also keeping Monarch Stadium safe for everyone that attends.
According to Eddy, seating space on the home bleachers affords 18 inches per student, seating approximately 2,500 students. The District augments the seating size to be between 24 inches and 19 inches for adults making space for approximately 1,800 to 2,300 attendees. Eddy says they estimate between 3,000 and 3,500 people show up for both high school and eighth grade graduations respectively.
Some ideas were handing out a certain amount of tickets per student to limit the number of attendants like some other school districts in the area. Another idea was to hold the graduation on the football field instead of the track as it is now. That could allow the school to open the away stands in addition to the homestands and increase the seating. One perspective offered in opposition was that family members would have a harder time seeing their student.
Another idea was to change the eighth grade graduation from a formal graduation to a simple promotion from junior high to high school. That would alleviate the consecutive nights or weeks that police would have to dedicated to crowd and traffic safety.
Eddy added that the District has not made any formal announcement over what avenue they will go and whether it will take effect this year. He did note that the Board intends to pick up the discussion at this month’s meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 11.