PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Two graduation shootings in Hot Springs and North Little Rock leads to enhanced safety measures for Pine Bluff High School’s graduation ceremony on Friday.
Combating crime and combating time was the focus for the Pine Bluff Convention Center where the graduation took place.
On Thursday, May 12th at Watson Chapel High School’s graduation, many people missed the ceremony because of the long lines to get through security.
That was far from the case at Pine Bluff’s graduation even with security measures ramped up.
Pine Bluff Convention center added extra security, metal detectors, and ushers.
The Pine Bluff Convention Center didn’t take any chances. They checked everyone from the graduates to the band members performing.
They also placed signs everywhere to alert people of the clear bag policy and even opened the doors two hours early.
Judy Arnold was at graduation to see her grandson and was the first in line at 4:30 pm. The ceremony didn’t start until 7:00 pm.
Arnold says she wasn’t taking “no chance at all” in missing to see her grandson’s accomplishment.
Marken Willingham, who was second in line says he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he missed his family member’s graduation.
Tonya Colen, the mother of the salutatorian, Charlston Colen arrived an hour and fifty minutes before the graduation started. She says she is for the security measures but can’t wrap her mind around the violence.
“That type of thing should never happen ever anyway, but” especially “at an event like this, where we’re honoring and celebrating the graduates.”
Friday night, the lines moved with ease and no crimes were committed, which made it a night the students will remember forever for the right reason…Graduating.