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‘That’s huge for us:’ Myrtle Beach High parents to receive extra graduation tickets

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Several Horry County parents said a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

One high school is giving out more in-person graduation tickets, allowing more loved ones to see this milestone moment.

Myrtle Beach High School will be holding its graduation ceremony on June 16 at the Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Up until last week, parents from that high school said that each graduate would only receive four graduation tickets for their kids’ big day.

But those same parents said they recently received an email from school leaders, stating they’ll now have a total of six tickets.

Parent Stephanie Massey provided this email to WMBF News. She received it from school leaders...
Parent Stephanie Massey provided this email to WMBF News. She received it from school leaders at Myrtle Beach High School. It states families will receive two additional graduation tickets, for a total of six.(Stephanie Massey)

On paper, those two additional tickets may not seem like a lot. But for some families, it goes a long way.

Myrtle Beach High parent Stephanie Massey said before the announcement, they were having to decide which grandparent would get to attend her daughter Riley’s graduation.

“It was a difficult decision,” Massey said. “Probably one of my parents would not have attended if we only had four tickets.”

But to Massey’s surprise, things changes, after receiving an email from the school stating they’d be receiving two extra tickets.

“That’s huge for us,” she said. “I feel like we were listened to.”

The graduation will be held at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium which sports tourism officials stated holds 6,500 people.

Horry County Schools said there are close to 300 seniors enrolled at Myrtle Beach High School.

Another Myrtle Beach High parent, who didn’t want to be identified, feels that space could handle more families.

“Honestly, I applaud the school for making that decision,” the father stated. “Looking at it and saying, ‘Hey, maybe we do have the ability to do it,’ then having the courage to make a change after hearing all that.”

Our news team checked in with parents from other Horry County High Schools.

At Carolina Forest High School, there are close to 600 seniors.

One parent from that high school said her son will only receive two tickets. She said as of now, that hasn’t changed.

Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier explained how schools determine how many graduation tickets will be allotted to graduates.

“The number that is assigned is usually based on the number of graduates at that school and the limitations of the space where the graduation ceremony is taking place,” Bourcier said. “The issue of guests does come up year to year. Unfortunately, we can’t open it up to the public so there is a limitation that has to be put on on the number of guests that can attend the ceremonies.”

Bourcier said the district is excited that schools are in a position to host in-person ceremonies for so many seniors.

“These students are resilient, they truly are,” she said. “They’ve worked so hard.”

Massey said she’s grateful for the extra tickets. But hopes looking ahead school leaders will host graduations in spaces like Doug Shaw Memorial.

“So families in the future have the ability to have more family members attend the ceremony,” Massey said.

WMBF News did speak with some parents who declined on-camera interviews from several high schools. Those parents stated they felt the ticket allocation process was fair.

Several parents told our news team that they were offered three different options for their student’s graduation event:

  • in-person ceremony with their peers
  • private ceremony with family
  • the option to not attend and utilize live stream

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