Dallas ISD superintendent says decision on virtual graduations is final

Dallas ISD's superintendent said Tuesday his decision to hold virtual graduation is final and based on recommendations from the county health department.

But some students, parents and even some school board members disagree with the decision and voiced their opposition.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said cancelling in-person ceremonies in favor of virtual ones for 9,000 seniors was one of the hardest decisions he’s had to make.

“We have come to the conclusion out of the interest of the health and safety of our students, parents and their families, and their friends, we are going to stick to our virtual graduations,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa said they did discuss holding ceremonies at the Cotton Bowl and were even approached by the Texas Rangers, but it wasn’t doable with DISD’s 37 high schools. Then a letter Monday was sent to the superintendent from the health department emphasizing ceremonies held outside in stadiums and football fields are strongly discouraged, even with attendees spaced out.

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The school board recently voted on a resolution giving Hinojosa the ability to make decisions without board approval through the end of the school year. Board members say he made this decision without consulting them.

“I actually thought that Dr. Hinojosa would have reached out to students, parents and board members to get some kind of input to be sure we were doing what’s right for students,” said trustee Joyce Foreman.

Some students on Tuesday said they were disappointed by the superintendent’s final decision.

“The one thing we deserve is graduation. Why can’t we have it? Why can’t the superintendent reconsider everything?” asked Alyssa Rodriguez, Skyline High School senior. “How come people are doing it at Texas Motor Speedway but we can’t?”

“It is disappointing to work for four years to have this idea of graduation and then have that not being what it ends up being,” said Manon McCollum, Booker T. Washington senior.


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