S124: Access to HS Graduations/Certain Counties. Latest Version

AN ACT to permit increased access to outdoor GRADUATION CEREMONIES in public and nonpublic high schools in certain counties.

Whereas, G.S. 115C‑47(4) provides that [l]ocal boards of education shall make all rules and regulations necessary for the conducting of extracurricular activities in the schools under their supervision; and

Whereas, the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects the right of the people peaceably to assemble; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Notwithstanding Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes, any executive order, secretarial order, or directive authorized pursuant to Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes, or any other provision of law, for the remainder of the scheduled 2020‑2021 school year, the following shall apply regarding attendance at outdoor graduation ceremonies for all public and nonpublic high schools:

(1)        For each outdoor facility where a graduation ceremony is held, the number of attendees shall amount to no more than fifty percent (50%) of the capacity stated on the facility's certificate of occupancy under the North Carolina State Building Code or, in the event the facility does not have a certificate of occupancy, no more than seven persons for every 1,000 square feet.

(2)        In allowing access to outdoor graduation ceremonies, schools shall comply with all requirements of the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K‑12), as that guidance existed on February 2, 2021, to the extent those requirements do not conflict with this act.

SECTION 2.  For purposes of this act, the term attendee does not include graduating students, employees of a public or nonpublic high school, entertainers, or staff providing support for a graduation ceremony.

SECTION 3.  Nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit a school, in the discretion of the governing body of that school, from implementing stricter access to an outdoor graduation ceremony.

SECTION 4.  This act applies only to Anson County, Iredell County, Moore County, Richmond County, Scotland County, Union County, and Yadkin County.

SECTION 5.  This act is effective when it becomes law.