North Texas

Summer Heat Forcing Schools to Alter Graduation Plans

When "Pomp and Circumstance" played at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto Thursday night, the sun was setting. The school district didn't originally plan it that way. "In years prior, the heat concerns have not been what they are now," said DeSoto ISD spokeswoman Tiffanie Blackmon-Jones.

The ceremony was delayed an hour due to extreme heat. That didn't stop parents from arriving early to secure a spot in the shade.

"Cause I'm gonna be nice and cool and comfortable watching my son graduate," said Crystal Ingram, who was second in line at the gate. "I don't want to look like I jumped in no pool!"

Ingram's son, Kristopher, graduated with honors. He wore a dress shirt and tie underneath his cap and gown. Ingram said he considered leaving the tie at home. "I thought about that a little," Ingram joked. "But you only get one day, so I think I'll suffer for a little bit.

The school district said the outdoor ceremony was a trade-off between coping with the heat and access for DeSoto's largest graduating class and their family and friends in the stands. The district set up emergency water stations at every entrance.

Ingram is headed to Mary Hardin Baylor to study pre-med. He graduated from DeSoto High School with honors. "It brought a little tear to my eye to think about where I was as a little boy and where I am right now," Ingram said.

"If breath is in my body, I'm gonna watch him walk across that stage tonight, Ingram's mom said. "And I'm gonna holler until I get hoarse!"

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