Eaton board votes to move graduation off field

The school board voted 4-1 in favor of having graduation held at Millett Hall at Miami University, breaking a 37-year school tradition of having the event outside on the football field.

The event hasn't been scheduled yet as school leaders wrangled over the decision.

While many in the community wanted graduation held on the field, others worried the field's new synthetic turf could be damaged.

Board member Keith Shepherd, who voted against the measure, said he at first had those concerns.

He said the turf company recommends not having the event on the field, but he said they advised with proper precautions it could be done without hurting the turf.

"If we do things right, we should be able to pull it off," Shepherd said prior to the vote. "It's not about my personal preference. The bigger voice has been the ones ... who would like to see it out on the football field."

Board member Joe Renner motioned for the vote and no other board members addressed the crowd in attendance.

After the meeting, parent Charity Loranzan said her son told her he won't walk in the ceremony if it's not on the field.

"It's disheartening for the kids because they've been lied to from the forefront," she said. "First it was 'void the warranty.' Now it's 'well it's too hot.' That's not what it should be about. We should never be at a March 3 board meeting wondering where we're going to have our graduation."

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