OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Ogdensburg City School District had planned to hold it’s graduation ceremonies Saturday but called them off Friday night.
The last-minute cancellation has many parents and students upset. Some are calling it an epic fail on the school’s end.
The school posted the cancellation to it’s Facebook page saying it was due to the predicted heat.
The post said the turf field could reach 140 degrees during the times of the ceremonies. And sure enough, when school officials read the temperature Saturday, it was 130 degrees on the field.
Some argued on the Facebook post that the school should have had an alternative plan ready, like using the dome or the non-turf field.
Others said the school should have cancelled earlier in the week when the forecast predicted the high temperatures.
“They started to plan this back around Father’s Day. So there’s been plenty of time to come up with a game plan for this. And for it to be cancelled last minute last night it uncalled for. This is disrespectful. Disrespectful to the kids, disrespectful to the families trying to make the most out of a difficult situation,” said Christopher Burrows, a parent of one of the graduates.
Ogdensburg City School District Superintendent Kevin Kendall says the school waited until last night to call it off because that’s their protocol and because they were hoping the forecast would change.
“We understand the frustration being expressed by the students and the parents and we recognize that the pandemic itself has created a lot of uncertainty and disappointment along the way, we’re disappointed as well,” said Kendall.
Saturday afternoon, the school decided on a new ceremony date and arrangement.
Now all students will graduate together July 22nd at 7:30 PM on the turf field and loved ones will watch from a jumbotron in the dome parking lot.
School officials say parents and students have been notified and the change was made with the safety of all in attendance as the primary focus.