H.S. Graduation Safety
Whether it's on a football field or in a pavilion, high school graduation is a milestone for many. As north central Florida seniors walk across the stage this week, safety once the ceremony is over is what school administrators and police are thinking about.
A lot goes into planning a high school graduation, and that means preparing for everything that can possibly go wrong.
"Beach balls are of course a big thing at graduation," said Rick Lankford, Vanguard High School Principal.
Shutting out pranks, and bringing in posh decor is how Lankford says, his school puts on a classy ceremony.
5,000 people will watch Vanguard High School seniors graduate on Friday night, but what happens when guests and grads leave the ceremony -is what police are planning for.
"There will be delays, hopefully people will be patient and understand that we're doing this to protect our children," said Sgt. Chas Maier, OPD Spokesperson.
In addition to a DUI checkpoint on Friday night, Sgt. Chas Maier says they'll be more police officers patrolling the Ocala area this week.
"Should something happen, a child leave that party, get involved in an accident possibly be killed, you'd be civilly responsible as well as possibly criminally," he said.
Maier says house parties with underage drinking can mean disaster for the host-- and the guests.
"Kids a lot of times have the mentality of: it can't happen to me, despite all the warnings and concerns they take chances they shouldn't be taking," said Lankford.
Lankford hopes his grads make good decisions on graduation night.
"The purpose of this is to celebrate what's been happening, and anticipate a great future, and we certainly want the future to be long lived so that they're active members of our community," he said.
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