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Skiatook High School Holds Graduation Despite Threat Of Severe Weather

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Skiatook School administrators said their graduation site is one of the safest places in town. Skiatook School administrators said their graduation site is one of the safest places in town.
The floor of the activity center is actually 30 feet below ground level. And there are another dozen rooms down here where administrators say they can put people for safety. The floor of the activity center is actually 30 feet below ground level. And there are another dozen rooms down here where administrators say they can put people for safety.
Congratulations are already scrolling and the stacked diplomas are just waiting to be handed out. Congratulations are already scrolling and the stacked diplomas are just waiting to be handed out.

Ashli Sims, News On 6

SKIATOOK, Oklahoma -- While Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College canceled events Tuesday night in the face of the tornado threat, one Green Country high school stuck to their plans.

Skiatook School administrators said their graduation site is one of the safest places in town.

Congratulations are already scrolling and the stacked diplomas are just waiting to be handed out. But while organizers wrestle with balloons inside, the wind is whipping up a storm outside Skiatook's Activity Center.

Administrators say they're not letting the threat of severe weather ruin the pomp and circumstance.

"Weather is sometimes unpredictable as to when and where it's going to happen. So we've created a contingency if something were to happen during graduation ceremonies tonight," said Skiatook Assistant Principal Patrick James.

James says they have a plan in place: monitor the storms; police officers and teachers to organize an orderly evacuation and spots picked out, like bathrooms and concession stands, to provide sturdy shelter.

See full coverage of Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

"If something were to come in, it's not going to be a 20 second before it happens. We're going to know something 20 minutes, if they're telling us we need to take cover, we'll make that announcement at that time," James said.

The floor of the activity center is actually 30 feet below ground level. And there are another dozen rooms down here where administrators say they can put people for safety.

"We feel like how the building is structured this one of the safer places for us to be. So that anybody that's here, we'll do the best we can to get them to a safe area. And make sure they're ok," James said.

James said they believe they can accommodate upwards of 2,400 people, but they're hoping all their contingency plans won't be necessary.

"We're hoping not. We're hoping that the grads will come in do their thing for the hour and hour 15 minutes that we're here. And leave and celebrate and celebrate safely without anything happening," he said.

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