Commencement moved indoors


Mikala McCracken

2018 Commencement ceremonies have been moved inside due to logistical and safety concerns.

Riley Miller, Staff Writer

Bellwood-Antis has decided to hold 2018 Commencement ceremonies indoors in June, rather than the normal outdoors environment at Memorial Stadium, and the reason for this doesn’t involve rain.

Mr. Richard Schreier, the Bellwood High school principal, said it was a team decisions based upon logistics and safety.

I feel that the decision to host an indoor graduation ceremony, although unpopular to some, is appropriate this year.

— Mr. Schreier

“I feel that the decision to host an indoor graduation ceremony, although unpopular to some, is appropriate this year.  There are fewer variables to manage in the auditorium,” he said.  “This is a significant event in the lives of our graduates and the environment should reflect the respect that we have for our graduating seniors.”

The decision has upset many upcoming graduates.

One senior in particular is Jack Showalter, the twelfth grade class president, who felt other school tragedies involving violence may have influenced the decision.

“I feel that it’s kind of ridiculous to rely on outside events (as) justification to moving it inside … as protection for us.  People think they need to protect us from past events that have no correlation to this area at all,” said Jack.

Jack said an indoor ceremony severely limits the number of family members who can attend because each graduate receives four tickets.

Jack isn’t alone. Seniors Mikayla Mason and Hannah Mately said that they would understand if it was raining, but it should be outdoors so that more family can attend.

“It doesn’t really make sense that it was moved, and I’m unhappy about it,” said Chris Wertman.

Other seniors have a more positive outlook on the situation.

For example, Tanner Worthing said, “I think students and parents are right to complain.  Outside graduations have been tradition at Bellwood-Antis.  We can’t hide everyone from everything.  We can’t quiver in fear because some people have done terrible things.  Danger is always assumed.  If a school shooter is determined, they have their opportunities.  Keeping it inside doesn’t stop evil.

“With all that said, students and parents are blaming the wrong person.  This isn’t Mr. Schreier’s fault. He isn’t the person deciding; it’s the whole administration.”

While some students feel strongly one way or another, others are neutral.

“I just want to graduate. I don’t care where,” said Nick Watters.

When asked if there will ever be another outdoor ceremony, Mr. Schreier stated, “There is a potential for outside commencement ceremonies in the future.  However, there are more factors that are beyond our control in the outside in environment. A ceremony in the auditorium allows for a more controlled environment.