Kapolei makes backup plans if severe weather hits graduation

More than 450 students graduate Friday night from Kapolei High School. The ceremony is set to take place at the school’s stadium.

With the threat of bad weather in the forecast, school officials had to come up with a Plan B.

If the bad weather strikes, the event will be moved to the gym. But the principal says it will take more than a little rain to make the changes.

“A little rain’s not going to stop us. It’s got to be true wet weather. That thunder, that lightning, that causes a safety issue,” said Kapolei High School Principal Elden Esmeralda.

If the ceremony is moved, that could be a problem for loved ones. Graduating seniors were given five guest tickets for the outdoor ceremony, but only two tickets for the indoor ceremony due to the gym’s capacity. That means anyone without a ticket won’t be allowed inside.

“It’s not fair because we all can’t see our graduates unless people video tape it or put it on YouTube. Other than that, it’s not fair just to have two tickets per student,” said Ryese Apelu, whose niece is graduating.

“I think at this point, that’s all they can do. The great thing is there is a back-up plan. Unfortunately, they’re not able to accommodate everyone,” said parent Brence Jenkins.

If the event moves indoors, the school said it will try to stream the ceremony into other buildings so that family and friends can watch it.

“We recognize that high school graduation is very sacred to people. They take it with a passion, and I understand that. So we want to provide the best that we can. We also recognize that this is a great place and it rains, but that’s good,” Esmeralda said.

The school said it all comes down to safety.

Officials are optimistic that the bad weather will hold off, but are ready to make changes.

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