DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — Delano Joint Union High School District kicked off its graduation ceremonies this week. And Wednesday night hundreds of students and their families celebrated their accomplishments.
This comes at a time when safety is on the mind of many because of the recent shootings nationwide.
It's been a year of ups and downs for students but despite the COVID-19 pandemic and increased threats of violence against schools nationwide and in Kern County. Students of Valley and Robert F. Kennedy High schools finally walked across the stage and families cheered them on. But because of recent events safety is the Delano Joint Union High School District's biggest priority.
Director of Student Services Rene Ayon says at each of the district's graduation ceremonies, law enforcement, and security presence has been increased, and all bags, purses, and backpacks are searched.
“We also reached out via blackboard connect - the communication system that we use for our parents - just to kind of let them know what was authorized and what was not authorized and we felt everyone did a really great job as you can see the graduation ceremony was amazing the kids did a really great job.”
Ayon says he’s excited about the accomplishments students will make in the future.
“I am going to attend a community college for two years, get an associate's degree in education and then I am going to transfer to a four-year university to get my bachelor's degree,” said graduate Kayla Rodriguez Ambriz.
“I’m going straight to the workforce in forklifting," said graduate Miguel Gonzalez.
"I’m going to go to school and have a job on the side," said graduate Daniel Fernandez.
The Delano Joint Union High School District says these security measures will be in place for all ceremonies. Cesar E. Chavez High School students will graduate Thursday.