DCSD: More guests at some graduations
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
The Darlington County School District remains COVID-cautious, but plans to let students bring more guests to high-school graduations this year, at least at the county’s bigger schools with bigger football stadiums for the ceremonies. The district is “confident” that graduating seniors at Darlington High and Hartsville High will be issued four tickets for four guests – twice the number of guests students were allowed last year because of COVID rules, Education Superintendent Tim Newman told the county school board April 26 in a work session. Lamar High and Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology in Darlington might still be limited to two tickets for each senior. Lamar’s stadium is smaller, with fewer options for social distancing with a bigger crowd, and Mayo doesn’t have a stadium. “One of the things that we have been looking at over the past month is to see if we can find a way to potentially allow some more attendees at graduations, some more family attendees,” Newman said. “Working with the principals and having them take a look at the different metrics that they have with football stadiums for three of our schools, and then one of our schools (has) a field area behind the building – it gave me a chance to talk with them about what the possibilities are.” “We can confidently offer four tickets instead of two tickets for graduation … in June” at the stadiums at Darlington High and Hartsville High, Newman said. “I know that will make a lot of folks happy.” The situation is not as clear with Lamar and Mayo, Newman said. Final decisions remain to be worked out. “How did we come up with four (tickets)?” asked board member Leigh Anne Kelley. “ … Are we doing 3 feet apart (in the stands)? Are we doing 6 feet, 5 feet?” “We believe between 3 and 6 feet outdoors allows us the flexibility (needed),” Newman said. The spacing would separate groups of guests.