Some Lincoln County school board members appear ready to change high school graduation policy to allow seniors to determine the site of graduation ceremonies. We agree with such a change. That decision would boil down to whether they wanted an inside ceremony, as usual for West and Lincolnton High at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, or an outdoor ceremony at the school stadium, the option East Lincoln High has always chosen.
Board member Joan Avery said she thought seniors in Lincoln County high schools should vote on a graduation venue at the beginning of the school year. Her suggestion was spurred after controversy over this past yearâ€™s graduation ceremonies when some 124 graduating seniors at Lincolnton High School signed a petition requesting that the ceremony be moved to the schoolâ€™s stadium. Their main complaint was that the indoor ceremony restricted the number of guests who could attend, limiting each student to five tickets.
The administration at Lincolnton High School opposed the move this year, apparently with good reason, since the graduation exercises were only a short time away when the issue was raised. But we see no reason why the question could not be put to a vote for the Class of 2005 early in the next school year. Let the seniors vote on the question. Weather is a consideration, but the seniors may see that as a minor obstacle compared to the advantages of an outside venue.
A graduation ceremony is a very special occasion, and for some families, guest attendance is a matter of great importance. This restriction can be lifted rather easily with an outside ceremony. We urge the school board to allow seniors and their families to decide for themselves.by Albert Dozier