Graduation mix-up causes confusion

Disgruntled Coolum High School mother Samantha Klein. Photo: Robyne Cuerel/179529a
Disgruntled Coolum High School mother Samantha Klein. Photo: Robyne Cuerel/179529a

A mix-up about the date of this week’s Coolum High School graduation ceremony has caused last-minute heartache and turmoil for students, parents and event organisers.

Due to a communication breakdown within the school, the date for the event had been advertised as Thursday, November 20.

But the booking at Twin Waters Resort had been made for Friday, November 21.

The mistake was not detected until Tuesday afternoon.

When students and parents were informed, there were tears and confusion as all concerned realised the consequences of the blunder.

Frantic phone calls followed to hairdressers, limousine companies, formal wear hire shops, florists and entertainers as parents, students and organisers tried to change their bookings.

It is believed some parents and teachers with prior Friday commitments will now be unable to attend the graduation ceremony.

Some students have already booked accommodation on the Gold Coast and elsewhere for Friday night for the annual Schoolies’ celebrations.

An Education Queensland spokesperson said the change occured “following a mix up in confirming the date for the senior graduation formal”.

“This year’s formal had been booked late last year with Twin Waters Resort to be held this Thursday after the school was informed that the Friday night was unavailable,” the spokesman said.

But a later opening meant the booking could be switched to the Friday and it was confirmed.

Parents were “mistakingly told” in October the formal was on the Thursday.

The school has apologised and was “negotiating a resolution” with affected families.

Mum Samantha Klein said many parents were furious and out-of-pocket.

“It is appalling to do this two days before the formal – it is way too late,” she said.

“My son’s grandparents were going to leave for their home outside Canberra on Friday – thankfully they have been able to change their arrangement to stay the extra night.”

One frustrated dad, who wished to remain anonymous, spent $2,000 on aeroplane tickets to get there for the Thursday night and would now have to miss his child’s school farewell.

“My daughter lost the $200 deposit on the limousine she’d booked and she can’t arrange for one on the Friday night.”

But many students were supportive of their school and said the mistake was minor compared to the amount of hard work teachers had put in to make the night a reality.

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