LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The Lafayette Parish School Board announced Tuesday all graduation ceremonies will be held this week at Cajun Field.
The ceremonies are scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The dates and times are as follows:
- Thursday, July 9, 2020 7:30 a.m. Northside High School
- Thursday, July 9, 2020 6:00 p.m. Acadiana High School
- Friday, July 10, 2020 7:30 a.m. David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy
- Friday, July 10, 2020 11: 00 a.m. Early College Academy
- Friday, July 10, 2020 6:00 p.m. Lafayette High School
- Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:30 a.m. Ovey Comeaux High School
- Saturday, July 11, 2020 11:00 a.m. Carencro High School
- Saturday, july 11, 2020 6:00 p.m. Southside High School
The event initially was to be at the Cajundome until LPSS was notified that the Cajundome ceremonies should not take place.
The State Fire Marshal’s Offices sent this correspondence:
LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) “After discussions with several representatives of LDH, there is not a consensus to authorize gatherings of these numbers at this time due to the recent spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. It has been recommended that your proposed events not occur with the crowd sizes proposed. Per 83 JBE 2020, a crowd size limitation of 250 persons per single indoor space may continue with strict social distancing. Note that outdoor events are not limited to the 250 person maximum. Please follow the guidelines available through OpenSafely ( https://opensafely.la.gov/ ) for Events or Event Venues.”
LPSS school board president Britt Latiolais was angry. He said plans have been in motion since May.
“If they were going to shut us down, they knew before this. The fire marshal was well aware of our plans. They had adjusted our seating charts back in May to align with phase one,” Latiolais said.
According to submitted safety plans, the Cajundome would have been outfitted with signage on social distancing and hand washing, floor decals marking 6 feet of distance and thermal cameras for each point of entrance.
“It would have definitely been a lot safer than the casinos were this weekend where people are on top of each other. It looks like the state, the governor and everybody didn’t care that the casinos were bringing in revenue left and right but we can’t have graduation,” Latiolais noted.
Public Affairs Director for the State Fire Marshal’s office says even though there were discussions no official approval had been given.
“In this instance, the graduations aren’t cancelled. We just explained again that there’s the 250 cap and there’s not going to be an exception made due to the fact the Covid-19 numbers continue to rise especially in that region,” State Fire Mashal’s Office Public Affairs Director Ashley Rodrigue explained.
Rodrigue says it wasn’t until last week that her office received a request to have an exception made for the proposed plans for the Cajundome
“It was always made clear that there is a 250 person cap on indoor gatherings. There has always been the ability to ask for an exception to that which we did not receive in official writing until June 30th,” Rodrigue stated.
Latiolias says there are three school football stadiums that could have been options but they’re under construction.
“We’re not going to stop until these students have their graduation.”