Graduation Time Shift Upsets Parents, Students

PERTH AMBOY – This year’s high school graduation ceremony will be at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, ending a tradition of holding an evening ceremony that dates back over 30 years. The new time will make it difficult for many working parents to attend, leaving some forced to make the choice between losing a day’s pay or missing a milestone event in their children’s lives.

Superintendent of Schools Janine Walker Caffrey said she made the change for safety reasons because seven people went to the hospital for heat-related issues last year.

Several parents and students were critical of the new time at a recent school board meeting and questioned why the change was made without their input or with much advance notice.

Tabitha Gonzalez, a student at Perth Amboy High School, told the board that she surveyed 126 members of her graduating class and found that only 15 had parents who would be able to attend the morning ceremony.

“I don’t think it’s fair to our children. This is a huge, huge thing to them. They need their family and support…. I’m not sure who made the decision, but I think it’s one-sided,” said one parent.

A Facebook group was also formed to oppose the decision.

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