The controversy over graduation's venue is tiresome
Enough is enough.
The debate over Blair's graduation venue has gone on for months. While the Blair community is lucky to have parents and other advocates who care strongly enough about the school's best interests to put so much energy into the issue, it's time to give this problem a rest and let students know once and for all when and where they will graduate.
Dr. Weast is not deliberately trying to antagonize parents or waste tax money. He listened to the three chief concerns about the graduation venue – its size, location and religious affiliation – and came up with a solution that best fit all of them. The Comcast Center is about as large as the other two proposed locations combined, giving students plenty of room to invite family to witness their graduation day. It is located in College Park, making it the closest of the possible venues and the most easily accessible by public transportation. There are no religious icons to be found anywhere in the building.
By granting every MCPS high school funds to rent an appropriate building for graduation this year, Weast is simply being fair, and with luck, setting a good precedent so future graduation classes can avoid this debate. The Comcast Center will cost a lot of money, but people who calculate a cost of $37,000 per school per year need to re-examine their math. Only a few high schools would qualify to use the Comcast Center under Weast's proposition for future budgets – those who have populations as large as Blair's – and by scheduling two or three schools to hold their graduations all on the same day, a group rate will apply.
To the parents who have worked tirelessly for months to ensure Blair students can graduate in a welcoming, convenient environment, we offer our sincere gratitude. Assuming Weast's decision stands, we hope we can count on your support and energy in arguing better rates from Comcast and the University of Maryland, and in holding extra fundraisers to earn back for the county the cost of what will hopefully prove a wonderful graduation.
Jessica Cutler. Jessica Cutler is an energetic girl practicing for her intended career as a neuropsychiatrist on her unsuspecting classmates. She enjoys tennis, crosswords, Panera and exploring the Metro system. Also, she's developed a recent affinity for betta fish, and is the proud owner of Robert L. … More »