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Kent seniors set protest for May 26 against drive-thru graduations

Students to show up at school district administration building

High school seniors plan to protest the drive-thru graduation ceremonies scheduled by the Kent School District in an effort to get a more typical ceremony.

The protest is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 26 at the Kent School District headquarters, 12033 SE 256th St., according to social media postings.

While most surrounding districts are using outdoor stadiums for high school graduations this year, the Kent School District plans to do drive-thru ceremonies at schools similar to last year due to COVID-19.

The district operates French Field next to Kent-Meridian High School, a stadium some students and parents have suggested as a potential site. A few also suggested renting T-Mobile Park in Seattle as an option.

School Board to discuss graduation

Kent School Board Director Leslie Hamada said that the plan for graduation ceremonies will be on the board’s agenda during its 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 26 virtual meeting, according to Facebook posts.

Hamada responded by email to organizers of a online petition drive by Class of 2021 seniors and their parents to get a full graduation ceremony. A total of 338 people had signed the petition as of Friday morning, May 21. Hamada let them know the item would be on the board’s agenda.

Those who want the district to change graduation plans plan to testify virtually at the board meeting and are encouraging people to email the board members at kentboard@kent.k12.wa. District staff typically reads emails received during the board meeting.

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