According to emails we've obtained as well as information from the respective districts, Richland will be, as of Wednesday morning, offering different vaccination 'perks' related to their graduation ceremonies.

Hanford High School, in an email/news release dated June 1st, will offer 8 tickets to each senior for the vaccinated section, fewer for those family and friends who wish to sit in the non-vaccinated area.

Richland High, also from an information release, will also be utilizing separate vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections. In addition, the school will be using the home and visitors' entrances to keep them 'separated.'

According to the Richland High release:

"Unvaccinated guests will be required to wear a mask, socially distance, and sit on the home side. Vaccinated guests will not have to wear a mask, will not have to socially distance, and will sit on the visitor's side." 

Vaccinated persons will have to show proof that their vaccinations are current and complete.

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Hanford High released a statement indicating 8 tickets for their vaccinated section will be given to seniors. It also appears, according to their information, that preference will be given for vaccinated ticket requests. From the HHS information release:

 "After we know how many of our Falcon Family can sit in the vaccinated section, we will know how many tickets we will be able to distribute to the non-vaccinated section."

Also, the list of requirements is lengthy, at least for HHS. They include:

  • Proof of vaccination for those 16-and older
  • For those 5-15, proof of a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours of June 11th
  • This information has to be supplied to the senior's respective schools administration by June 9th, in this case, Hanford.

Meanwhile, we reached out to Kennewick School District Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations Robyn Chastain, and asked if KSD is planning any similar protocols with the Kamiakin, Southridge and Kennewick graduation ceremonies.

She provided the following statement:

"We decided against creating separate sections. All seniors will get 8 tickets now."

Judging from comments we've received from listeners, people we know in Richland, and seen on social media (including the BF Coaltion for In-Person Education page) there are a lot of surprised, frustrated and even furious parents over these Richland School District Policies.

Many are saying using vaccinated and non-vaccination sections is discriminatory, as well as waiting until the vaccinated ticket requests are fulfilled before determining how many available for the non-vaccinated sections.

We will continue to monitor this situation.


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