BROOKSVILLE - In recent years, hundreds of family members have been turned away from Hernando High School's overcrowding gym in attempts to see their son, daughter or relative graduate.
It was the only high school holding ceremonies indoors at the time, and it evoked comments from attendees, such as "irate," "poor planning," "angry crowds" and "ludicrous," as well as allegations that administrators were full of it.
Parents pleaded for years with the school to host a ceremony outside in the stadium instead, but the answer was always the same: In the event of rain, they didn't want to have to set up two places.
But the high school decided to hold the ceremony outside anyway this year, and the rain punished Leopard Stadium and postponed the ceremony three days.
The school eliminated the possibility of either this upcoming school year: The school's 2013-14 graduation ceremony is going to be held at Grace World Outreach Church, a location impermeable to rain and more spacious than a gym, with no rain date necessary.
Weeki Wachee High School and Central High School saved themselves the same trouble by booking dates at Grace World, as well.
As for Nature Coast, which enjoyed an ethereal dusk during its graduation ceremony this year, and Springstead High School, which did not and got the same angry responses and weather as Hernando High School did, both schools have decided to roll their dice against Mother Nature again next summer.
Only there's one difference should Mother Nature win out: In the event of rain, ceremonies will be held the following morning at Grace World Outreach Church.