Watch: Texas high school graduation held by cellphone light during power outage

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a year unlike any other, a Texas high school experienced a graduation ceremony unlike any other.

On Wednesday, storms knocked out power during graduation at Anderson High School, but school leaders and Austin Independent School District officials decided to move forward with the graduation anyway.

“Due to a power outage, we are unable to livestream or have a soundsystem at the Anderson High School Graduation,” the district tweeted. “We’re proceeding with graduation, with a megaphone and flashlights from our phones!”

The district’s Twitter post included a video of the graduation as the students and audience sang the national anthem.

The graduation had been going just over 20 minutes when the lights went out, and they stayed off for about half an hour. Many students got their diplomas in the dark, and some student speeches were delivered in the dark by megaphone.

Anderson High said salutatorian Nickhil Anantha’s speech fittingly focused on adapting to circumstances such as the pandemic, virtual learning — and even power outages during graduation.

Families watching from home were also impacted since the outage prevented Austin ISD from being able to livestream the event.

After power was restored, Austin Energy apologized on Twitter for the disruption and wished the Class of 2021 well.

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