Dial Dalfred: High school students upset over number of guests allowed to attend graduation


ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – As hundreds of people in Abbeville prepare to celebrate high school graduation, some students are upset with the number of loved ones allowed to attend the ceremony.

More than 150 students at Abbeville High School are about 48 hours away from one of the biggest moments of their lives- graduation day.

But a special moment they hoped to share with their entire families will have to be narrowed down to a select few.

School is out for seniors at Abbeville High and this Friday they’ll walk across stage and become high school graduates.

But they’ll only be allowed to have 10 loved ones in attendance.

One graduating senior reached out on behalf of their classmates and said, “It’s not right that students only get six tickets to graduation for an outside ceremony.”

District F Vermilion Parish School Board member Kibbie Pillette agrees.

“Whenever there is inclement weather you can only seat so many, they give out tickets. But why they would give out tickets when the weather is as beautiful as it is I don’t understand,” said Pillette.

Pillette is referring to the contingency plan in case of rain where graduation would take place in the Abbeville High gym, with much less capacity than the football stadium.

 “Each student got 10 tickets. Today, six reserved seats in our main portion of the stadium and four additional general admission tickets in the bleacher section of our stadium,” said Lindelle Theriot, principal at Abbeville High School.

Capacity at Wildcat Stadium is 1600. 

On Friday, 155 graduates are taking part in the ceremony.

Why 10 tickets- 1600 divided by 155 is how administrators arrived at the per-student limit. 

Mother of an Abbeville High graduating senior, Christy Bird, says her family has been understanding of the ticket limit.

“They will just come to the party afterward. They’re not really giving me a hard time, we’re making the best of it,” she said. 

The school is responsible for providing security for graduation.

According to Principal Theriot, they’re putting up more than $1,500 for 11 officers to keep everyone safe.

Principal Theriot says students had the opportunity to earn two additional tickets to graduation by scoring a 24 or higher on the ACT.

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