West Ashley parents push for outdoor graduation

West Ashley parents push for outdoor graduation
May 18 14:26 2020 Print This Article

The parents and families of West Ashley High School’s 350 graduating seniors are asking Charleston County School District to allow the school to have an outdoor graduation ceremony at the school’s football stadium. Berkeley County School District and Dorchester County School District Two recently announced plans to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies in mid-June.

Constituent District 10 school board member Jenn Osteen envisions a ceremony in which graduates would be seated throughout the football field with families in the bleachers. Graduates would stand and wave when their names are called, rather than walking on-stage to receive their diplomas. The valedictorian and salutatorian would deliver their speeches, as usual. Berkeley County School District has a protocol allowing each graduate to invite up to four guests age four or older.

West Ashley parent Kimberlee Auerbach is the mother of a graduate. Her son Grayson finished with a grade point average of 3.5 (on a scale of 4). She said, “Grayson has overcome a lot of challenges to successfully complete high school, and we all want to celebrate that. We want a live graduation, and we want it now! If people don’t feel safe, then they don’t have to participate.”

Grace Grammar, whose son joins the Marines on June 15, started a petition to Charleston County School District requesting a timely outdoor graduation so that her son may participate with his class. To date, the petition has garnered 546 signatures. Charleston City Councilman Harry Griffin is also supporting the effort to have an outdoor graduation. He sent an e-mail to Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait and all nine consolidated school board members, asking them to consider allowing the Class of 2020 to enjoy a special lifetime milestone.