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State of Texas won’t allow El Paso area schools to hold graduations at Don Haskins Center

graduation commencement
Getty Images via CNN
Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their graduation ceremony.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas school districts may hold outdoor graduation ceremonies starting next month but indoor commencements will not be allowed, the Texas Education Agency said in new rules issued late Tuesday afternoon.

That means plans by four Borderland school districts are now on hold as school officials figure out alternatives.

The El Paso Independent School District, Clint Independent School District, Canutillo Independent School District and Socorro Independent School District had all recently announced dates for high school commencement ceremonies at UTEP's Don Haskins Center from late June through late July.

School districts are allowed to hold virtual ceremonies, celebrate seniors while they drive in a procession or host a socially distanced outdoor ceremony, said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath as he laid out the details of those constraints which are meant to protect school communities from contracting the coronavirus.

ABC-7 has reached out to the El Paso-area school districts about what their new plans will be.

"With the continually evolving public health situation, we are studying various possibilities and will communicate with stakeholders as information becomes available and as we seek additional guidance from health authorities and the Texas Education Agency," said a spokesman for Socorro ISD.

ABC-7 is still awaiting response from the other districts.

Coronavirus Video / El Paso / Lifestyle / News / Texas / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



  1. So let me see if I understand this move. Since children are the least to contract the virus they are punished for graduating after a long four years of hard work? Is that correct? And poor people that depend on the miserable minimum wage to survive they are also punished by keeping them from going out to earn a decent living? Is that correct too? Who gave this power to these so called leaders? Especially the ones that were not elected but hide behind a title like health worker? Never saw the name of any health worker in any of the ballots I voted. Why are they deciding if I should live or die?

    1. So what are you two? Dense or just not paying attention to whats going on? Are you telling me that you are unaware that we are in the middle of a nationwide health crisis?

      1. You seem to think you know everything so give us a time. When DO YOU THINK we should be allowed to go back to work. It’s unfortunate but people die. They die from the flu, they die from pneumonia, they die from cancer, they die from heart attacks, they die from heat stroke. They die form drunk drivers (in this city more that most) and they die from car accidents. Do we shut down cities for the flu or for pneumonia? Do we shit down our streets from drivers? Do we shit the city when it’s 105 outside? NO you know what we do? We mitigate. We tell people when it’s hot drink water, don’t exercise outside, wear a hat. If they choose not to and die it’s on them. We tell people to live a healthy lifestyle and eat right and get some exercise to reduce the chance of cancer or heart disease. If they choose to stuff their face with cheeseburgers and sit on their fat butts and die from it it’s on them. And don’t give me the crap about not having a vaccine. People died before vaccines and we still didn’t shut things down. So what do you suggest we do Mark? Continue to sit on our hands and wait? People are starting to die from suicide and domestic abuse now. Which is worse?

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