Some Volusia parents want graduation ceremony sooner, in outdoor venue

A petition is making its rounds calling for an earlier graduation ceremony date in an outdoor venue for Volusia County seniors. The petition started by Deltona dad Michael Walters has been signed nearly 1,000 times.

“Obviously, a lot of people feel very strongly about this as well,” he said.

Walters, whose daughter Nancy graduated from University High School, thinks the ceremony should happen sooner. The district pushed it to July at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.

Walters is proposing an outdoor venue – possibly a football stadium.

“You could just tell people, be mature, be responsible, spread out, but let the kids bring those who are special in their lives be present,” he said.

He tells FOX 35 News that he is worried about capacity limits inside the Ocean Center.

“When we heard that there was a possibility that there was only gonna be two people to be present, I was like, well then that means my sons not gonna be able to go,” he said.

“I was just really upset because even my little brother wouldn’t be able to see me graduate, and so I just wanted him to come at least,” added Nancy.

Using the largest senior class of about 700 as an example, the district said it has run numbers based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that would allow two to three tickets on average per graduate given the Ocean Center’s capacity of 2,000.

FOX 35 News asked the district if it has considered changing the venue as requested by the petition, but have not heard back.

“I know it’s hard, and it can’t be easy to make those decisions, but I feel like this one is one of those decisions that we need to revisit,” said Walters.