Families upset after DeSoto graduation moved to smaller venue

There are lots of unhappy families in the DeSoto Independent School District in southern Dallas County because of graduation ceremony changes.

DeSoto ISD announced Tuesday that it would move DeSoto High School’s graduation indoors because of the possibility of rain and severe weather Wednesday evening.

But graduates in the Class of 2019 will not receive their diplomas in their hometown. Instead, they will receive them at the Mansfield Center for Performing Arts, which has limited seating.

Each graduate will only get six tickets and that’s where the frustration lies.

“We’ve only been given six tickets and that’s not enough. I have family coming from out of state. They bought plane tickets and they are here now today. And to tell them that only six can come to the graduation is outrageous,” said Jefferson Cole, a senior at DeSoto High School.

Cole and others spoke out about the changes at Tuesday night’s DeSoto ISD school board meeting.

“We live in Texas, a state where one day it could be storming and hailing and the next day it could be bright clear sunny skies. You need to plan accordingly. You know there are students with many family members that would like to celebrate their graduation,” Cole said.

The school district normally holds graduation ceremonies at Eagle Stadium. Administrators said they originally secured an indoor venue for inclement weather but it was not available Wednesday night.

Administrators had a choice between moving graduation to Thursday night or moving it to the smaller venue in Mansfield. They chose the latter to accommodate people who made arrangements for Wednesday night.

Parents and graduates can pick up their six tickets at the DeSoto High School multi-purpose center between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

There will be additional seating in an overflow area on-site but seating there is limited too and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Anyone who doesn’t get in is invited to watch the ceremony on a screen at the high school’s auditorium, the district said.

Midlothian High School also moved its graduation ceremony to the Mansfield Performing Arts Center on Thursday because of the weather. But, seniors there will each get 13 tickets for their family.