Bloomfield High School seniors will be having their graduation ceremony at Foley Field after all.
The news came as a surprise to many on Wednesday afternoon, 24 hours after students were told their graduation ceremony would be held in the gym.
Bloomfield School Superintendent Jason Bing reversed the decision, following a protest by students at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
The outpouring of emotion appeared to make its mark on the school administration.
--“The BHS admin is meeting with students to discuss options - a decision will be made on or before Friday in regards to holding graduation at Foley Field,” Bing told Patch by email early Wednesday.
--A couple of hours later he wrote: “Graduation will be held at Foley - logistics are currently being worked out.”
At the upwards of thirty students and parents took to the podium to protest the idea of a gym graduation.
“Foley Field is clearly very important to us,” student Alex Colucci told the board, “Please don't take that away from us.”
Another student and her father pointed out that taxpayers, who approved the $2.9 million referendum three years ago were promised that their children would be able to graduate on Foley Field. “Why were we told when we were voting for Foley Field that we’d be able to use it for graduation, when all along they knew we wouldn’t be able to use it?” said the student, Alexis Celluro.
When BOE student representative Joshua John demanded to know “What exactly is preventing us from graduating at Foley Field?” School Board Administrator Michael Derderian replied that chairs should not be used on artificial turf.
In fact, folding chairs were placed on the running track, as well as a ground cover, for the last September.
BOE President Mary Shaughnessy said on Wednesday afternoon that Bing and Bloomfield High School principal Chris Jennings were working out the details and expressed optimism that a favorable arrangement would be reached.
“It’s a very emotional issue for Bloomfielders,” she said.