Charlotte High School students confront school over graduation ticket limit

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Graduation is that special time when a person’s accomplishments are honored in front of friends and families. With the end of the school year slowly approaching, graduation is right around the corner.

Students at one school are concerned they won’t be able to share it with all their loved ones.

Four guest tickets per student. That’s all Charlotte High School’s graduation venue, the Charlotte Harbor Event Center, allows for this year. For senior Laurel Kalin, it’s just not enough.

“The immediate family that lives with me or in the area is two parents, by two grandparents, and then my one sister, my brother, so that’s six people for me,” said Kalin. “It would honestly be devastating to me that, you know, my family is not able to be there on such an important day of our lives.”

Kalin did some math. “The stadium holds 4050 people, so you know if you you divide 4050 by 418, that comes out to 9.689 all these numbers, but you have to round down them. So that comes out to nine people or nine tickets.”

She spoke up at Tuesday’s school board meeting, and her friend also started a petition. 750 signatures later, “The principal is meeting with the student leaders, senior student leaders, president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, to see their take on this,” said Michael Riley, with Charlotte County Public Schools.

Riley says the football field was brought up when trying to find a venue, but “Holding it outside is a roll of the dice in May or June, and it might rain and it might not, and the heat.”

It also came down to costs and a lack of good seating.

“Everybody would have their back to the graduating class or set aside view in the back view. It’s just not conducive for something like this,” said Riley. “We’re doing the best we can for the children.”

What really matters to students like Kalin is the number of seats, which she hopes their petition will help change.

The school’s principal plans to meet with student leaders in the next couple days. Right now, there are no plans to change the venue. Graduation ceremony will take place May 16.

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