Out of the 16 people who suffered from heat-related problems at McEachern High’s graduation today, four were taken to Cobb Hospital for heat exhaustion.
The other 12 were treated on scene, said Denell Boyd, a spokeswoman for Cobb Fire & Emergency Services.
Boyd wasn’t immediately sure of the condition of the four taken to the hospital but said the other 12 were successfully treated.
McEachern’s graduation kicked off about 10 a.m. today, and emergency services received its first call at 10:46, Boyd said.
She recommended that those being in the heat drink lots of water, stay in the shade if possible, and freeze water in a water bottle to drink and use as a coolant.
Many of the more than 2,000 in attendance brought umbrellas for protection.
McEachern has used its outdoor stadium—the largest of all Cobb high schools and one of the largest in the area—for graduations for a “long time,” school system spokesman Doug Goodwin said. The size allows for more family and friends to attend graduations, he said.
In talking with Area Superintendent Rob Benson, a former McEachern principal, Goodwin said problems with heat exhaustion during graduations have been “very minor” and that it’s the result of having a large crowd.
Allatoon and McEachern are the only two Cobb high schools that host graduations at their sports stadiums. The others are held indoors at Kennesaw State, Roswell Street Baptist Church and Turner Chapel’s cathedral.
Goodwin said 460 students graduated from McEachern today.
Come back tomorrow for a photo gallery of McEachern’s graduation. In the meantime, you can check out last year's graduation.