Graduation becomes video event

Published 11:33 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

Through the years, the Suffolk school system has fielded numerous concerns from parents and students regarding the lack of space available to the student’s families at graduation ceremonies. Recognizing that moving the graduation ceremonies to a larger venue wasn’t an option, especially with the economy as it is, the system has settled on technology as a viable solution.

Beginning this year, all graduation ceremonies will be streamed live via the Web at HYPERLINK “” Now, thanks to modern technology, family members of the graduates will be able to watch their loved ones walk across the stage from the comfort of their homes, workplaces or anywhere there is an internet connection.

School administrators have been the subjects of much criticism in past years for holding their graduations in venues too small to accommodate larger families.. Each graduate receives only six tickets to graduation, and for those with larger families there just weren’t enough to go around. For many students with relatives who wanted to travel from out of town to see the commencement ceremonies, the only real option for them was to watch the school’s Charter Cable access channel, WSPS Channel 6. For many, that just wasn’t a good enough solution to the problem.

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While the system has attempted to appease those families by airing the ceremony on the local television channel, the complaints continued to roll in each year around graduation time.

Other Hampton Road cities have venues capable of holding many more people than the gymnasiums at Suffolk’s schools, meaning the students are less likely to have to pick and choose their favorite relatives to invite to the events. Suffolk, of course, has no similar venue coming in the near future.

Using an online streaming video to showcase the ceremony is a brilliant idea. If it is implemented correctly, it could change the attitudes of those in opposition. More important, it opens of the graduation ceremony to people anywhere with access to the Internet.