'Fuming': Graduation two ticket limit has parents upset
AN EXPLANATION as to why seating at tonight's Goonda State School graduation ceremony is limited along with a promise to speak to parents 'face to face' next year has been sent home this afternoon.
The letter, penned by the school's Principal Lee Gerchow, says the decision to move the ceremony off campus was based on parents' feedback and comes after the QT approached the school for comment.
"The graduation ceremony was moved to off-site last year in response to feedback that in the summer months the hall is extremely hot and poorly ventilated," Ms Gerchow wrote.
"Plans exist to install fans in the hall in the future, however we chose the function centre due to the fact that it is air conditioned and close to the school."
Ms Gerchow went on to say next year parents will be more involved in the decision, promising to run face to face sessions and an online forum were parents can give feedback.
"As always, if you wish to see me personally with this feedback I'm more than happy to speak with you."
The school is paying to hold the ceremony at Goodna RSL Club.
PARENTS at Goodna State School are fuming and confused.
Instead of being excited about their children finishing primary school they're devastated after being told there would only be two tickets per student for the graduation ceremony.
The ceremony is being held at the Goodna RSL Club tonight and while the school let parents know about the space restrictions in mid-November, it hasn't offered an explanation.
Goodna mum Crystal Emms, whose daughter is among the graduating class, was devastated when she saw a post on the school's Facebook Page yesterday reminding parents 'extra guests would not be allowed'.
The post suggests parents make 'alternate' arrangements for siblings and offers to take responsibility for the graduating child if parents are 'unable to do this'.
The Facebook post has since been deleted.
Ms Emms, who also has a 15 month old and doesn't know anyone who can baby sit, says her daughter Lily is distraught at the thought both her parents won't be there.
"The whole thing is incredibly frustrating," Ms Emms says.
"I rang to ask the school if my youngest daughter could just sit on my knee, but they said no.
"The most annoying part is that we don't understand why?
"The school has a big beautiful, almost new auditorium where they've held graduations in the past. Why not this one?"
Goodna State School declined to comment, however, in a written statement an Education Department spokesperson explains the decision was made for 'health and safety reasons'.
"The graduation ceremonies were moved to an air conditioned, off-site location last year in response to community feedback about the heat of the hall," the statement reads.
"Concerns about overcrowding raised by parents last year prompted the decision to limit numbers."
For Ms Emms, her husband and their 11-year-old daughter Lily the fiasco has brought negativity to the milestone.
Ms Emms and her husband are struggling to decide who should go to the ceremony with their youngest daughter. They are leaving the decision until the very last minute.
The graduation starts at 5.30pm tonight.