Know rules for commencement

If you're headed to a graduation today, you might want to leave the air horn at home.

Ditto for balloons, oversized signs, confetti and beach balls.

"That stuff will be confiscated if it's brought in," Richmond County schools spokesman Louis Svehla said.

"Most of that is out of respect for the students and the people there to enjoy the graduation. Balloons and big signs, it really inhibits the view and gets in the way of other people there to watch the graduation."

Today, five Richmond County graduations will be held at James Brown Arena, with the remaining five there Wednesday.

To help those attending, school officials are offering several tips.

As for prohibited items, Svehla said if people are spotted at the door bringing in such things, they'll immediately be asked to return them to their vehicle. If the items are found in the arena during the ceremony, they'll be confiscated.

He said that on a second offense, the person with a prohibited item will be asked to leave.

Svehla said parking is free in the large parking lot across the street from the arena's front door.

Graduates should be dropped off at a back entrance along Eighth Street.

"The graduating seniors are being asked to arrive an hour beforehand," he said.

Family and friends should arrive no earlier than an hour before the ceremony because the five graduations will occur back-to-back.

Svehla said parents should also make sure graduates bring their cap, gown and tassel.

"You'd be surprised how many times kids get there and 'Oh, I forgot my tassel.' 'I forgot my cap,' " Svehla said.

He said parents also might like to know that a booth will be set up at the ceremonies to place an order to purchase a DVD recording of the graduation for $20.

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