UPDATE: Shady Spring High School Principal, Deanna Massey, admits to the mistakes that she made. Massey says it was her first time in this role, not everything went accordingly and the ceremony overall went way faster than imagined.
Massey tells 59 News that she is working to fix the mistakes she made this year for the future.
Massey also took the time to apologize to the graduates, their families and everyone who attended. She is very proud of all of her students and wants the best for every single one of them.
Cassidy Owens expresses with tears in her eyes, that graduation was not the special day she imagined.
“We worked for 4 years for 30 minutes and it’s a small rural community, so you think they would band together,” says Owens.
In past years, the graduation ceremony has been as long as two hours, but this year traditions like saying a prayer and acknowledging honor students were left out.
Brent Mitchell felt he was rushed across the stage when it should have been his moment to shine.
“We were being shooed through like cattle through a shoot, this ceremony was the fastest in the entire county, we lasted for a whole 30 minutes,” says Mitchell.
Going forward these graduates want to see a positive change for future ceremonies.
“I just want parents and students to be more aware for next year. Honestly, just stick up for your kids and stand up for your beliefs. If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything,” expresses Owens.
Many parents who didn’t want to go on camera expressed that they too are very disappointed in the school and with how rushed their loved ones were.
Larry Ford with the Raleigh County Board of Education wants to let people know that they are working to make changes going forward.
“It’s been looked at as far from the school, even to the superintendent’s office. Things will be done differently next year and I can promise you that,” promises Ford.
Shady Spring High School declined to speak with us and told us they will not be putting out a statement.