DOWNEY - Because major theme parks are not available for rental in late June, Warren and Downey high schools are facing problems with where the location of their annual grad night should be.The fate of Downey's grad night still remains uncertain, even after Assistant Principal John Baker announced at the Senior Assembly on Oct. 8 that the school's traditional grad night at Disneyland would most likely have to be reconsidered. Because Disneyland's grad night promotion to local high schools ends on June 16, the week before Downey's graduation, the festivity will have to be at a new venue or Six Flags Magic Mountain will have to be to be replaced with Disneyland as the senior trip location. Nothing is set in stone as of now, Baker says. At the assembly he suggested hosting grad night in the school's gymnasium, to which the seniors expressed great disapproval. "The gym is not a factor," Baker said. "We need at least 50 to 60 parent volunteers, yet at the most recent senior meeting we only have one." Senior class president Riza Karnadi says seniors tried to convince administrators to hold grad night a week before graduation, but the idea was declined by principal Tom Houts, who said grad night is supposed to be a healthy alternative to partying after graduation. Baker said he is doing the best he can to support the celebration, but he emphasized that grad night is not up to the students but rather up to their parents. "Grad night is a parent-driven activity and it hasn't been that way," he said. Warren seniors are choosing among Disneyland, Speedway and Boomers for their grad night after facing complications with Disneyland as well. Many seniors object to having grad night anywhere else other than Disneyland, which would require having it a week in advance. Having the event a week in advance may seem like a plausible idea but this would eliminate the sole purpose of this occasion. "I don't think Disneyland would be the best option for our grad night," said senior Irwin Luna. "It would be overcrowded and wouldn't be as intimate with our class as it had been previous years where only Warren seniors were at a place, like Boomers." If the PTSA can not book a desired theme park for the night of graduation, they will allow seniors to vote on the venue location such as Speedway or Boomers. "Again, the purpose of grad night was to allow all students a safe place to celebrate their graduation," said Lois Worthy, grad night chairperson for the class of 2011. "All it takes is one student to make a poor and/or fatal choice graduation night and we would have failed all our students by not being able to provide that safe place."
********** Published: November 18, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 31