An Arizona high school is charging its students a $25 fee to walk in their graduation ceremony. The extra fee will help the school with the costs of the event, a district rep says.
Tight budgets across the country have caused schools to look for other ways to generate funds, but seniors and parents in the Gilbert-area school are not happy about the ceremony charge.
"It's actually less than most of the class fees and it doesn't come anywhere close to off-setting the cost for graduation," Tony Malaj from the Higley Unified School District tells My Fox Phoenix
The high school in Gilbert will have a graduating class of 400, and if each student pays, the school will take in $10,000. The district claims that the fee will help cover the costs of diplomas, diploma covers, folding chairs and stage rental and security.
Administrators say that new fees were discussed in open budgetary meetings, and that parents were aware that the fees would be incorporated into school activities. The fee will be waived for students who can't afford it.
"It's such a big event, you have to have traffic control, you have all this stuff that happens and you have to have police officers for security here," Malaj says. "Its just wrong to hold the kid at ransom -- it almost feels like extortion."
What do you think of the graduation fee? Is you school doing something similar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.