Public opinion ignored?

Class of 2019 Graduation to be held indoors despite attempts to hold it on the new field


The Bellefonte Area High School Class of 2019 will never get the chance to utilize the newly improved Rogers Stadium before leaving their high school lives behind with graduation. As a class that has been bragged about since elementary school, students and family members will not get to see the field’s full potential – a field that they have been waiting two years for.

Teachers bragged about the potential of the class and the amount of dedication that was found in the students regarding athletics, politics, fine arts, and many of the other extracurricular activities offered at the high school. After such a long, stressful senior year, students and family will now have to choose between other members of their family and friends with their limited amount of tickets for an indoor graduation.

The fact of the matter is, the only times that the gym has been used for graduation was when there was work being done on the football field, deeming it as being unavailable, or if the weather proved to make the conditions of the field unsafe for either the students or their friends and family. Those were the only times that the field has not been used for graduation, with regards to the knowledge of most of the students at the high school. Also, for the past year, the field has been off the table for every football game besides one. On June 7, all the seniors want to do is walk across the field with every friend and family member able to watch the ceremony, not having to pick and choose between who may be worthy or who may not be.

Last year, the graduating Class of 2018 graduated indoors with a maximum amount of six tickets to share with family and friends. Six. That, for many people, may consist of parents or guardians, along with grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends. Imagine choosing between family members who are traveling long distances to see you graduate. Imagine choosing between close underclassmen friends that want to see you graduate because you only have one ticket left. Imagine how crowded the gymnasium gets, with hundreds of family members and friends stuffed into one small, enclosed space.

The start of summer is meant to be enjoyed. Having an outside graduation means that there will be better pictures because of the natural lighting, and a better atmosphere because of the fresh air.

After having to go without the field all year, to know that the field is off limits because it apparently takes a month to install a rubber track around the perimeter of the field along with buildings just doesn’t seem like a good enough explanation to seniors. The students have not been given a detailed-enough explanatio as to the specific plans behind the meaning of the field construction taking as long as it will.

Resa Badger, the mother of a graduating student, has started a petition through Facebook and has taken that petition to the School Board, who thusly, dismissed the 682 signatures to the petition and talked only about how graduation was already set to be inside. There was little explanation to the students and the family members that showed up to the meeting.

Why should the Class of 2019 have to suffer through an uncomfortable, hot graduation in order for the “other classes to have a chance” at using a nicer field for athletics for the following year? The least the Board could do is recognize the issue at hand with indoor graduation and offer some sort of other solution, some other way, to make graduation the spectacular event that every senior has waited four entire years for.