Bad weather forcing school officials to reevaluate graduation ce -

Bad weather forcing school officials to reevaluate graduation ceremonies

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After the rain started falling at the Absegami High School graduation, mother Daryl Land was unable to see her son Steven graduate.

"It was raining before the procedure even started. They just could've stopped it at that point and said let’s go inside but they tried to rush through," said Land.

Land says this is the second year in a row weather affected the ceremony and says students were eventually moved inside but parents were unable to witness the rest of the ceremony.

The weather Friday also pushed the back the Oakcrest graduation until yesterday.

"They rushed us out there, they were running late. We sat and before anything it was raining on us and they said never mind go, inside, we'll graduate Monday," said Oakcrest graduate Samantha Ell.

Some parents were angered by what they say was a lack of organization and poor judgment.

Superintendent of the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District Doctor Steven Ciccariello says he understands concerns of parents and realizes there are no easy solutions.

Dr. Ciccariello says there is a sentimental factor involved with these outdoor graduations. Some want to graduate on the same field as past generations and would prefer not to see the ceremonies move off-site.

"I don't think it would have been the same. That when you graduate you want to be at the place you were for the last four years so you end it there too," said Ell.

Dr. Ciccariello told us by phone that committees will be formed at each of the district's three high schools to decide the best course of action.

He says having the ceremony in gymnasiums may limit how many family members can attend.

If schools seek to use facilities at Stockton College, snow days could ruin the date of the graduation.

Dr. Ciccariello says the committees will work with the community to see the best quality graduation.

"I seriously hope they do a committee, take advice, consult a meteorologist so that this doesn't happen at our school or other schools,” said Land.

Dr. Ciccariello says a recognition ceremony will be held Thursday at Absegami to provide picture opportunities and to do something positive for the graduates.

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