Allow Graduation Ceremonies outdoors safely!

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Please take a moment and read an important plea from the New York State Class of 2020! 

The  Class of 2020 has already had many missed traditional high school memories. Proms, Senior trips, awards ceremonies, missed Senior nights, missed final performances and competitions in their high school career. They missed 3 1/2 months of their school year where there were no goodbyes to fellow students, beloved teachers, and staff. Many of your future constituents have lost summer employment, and lost valuable time due to distancing from family with the Covid pandemic. From school events to just hanging out at their homes together, they have been isolated. Graduation is the final culmination of their high school career. This is their moment, the big moment they have worked so hard for and spent years waiting for! The question remains.... How can they safely celebrate this big moment in their lives?

Graduation ceremonies can be done safely outside on a school field, or in a public park outdoors. Social Circles are allowed in Central Park, why not school fields or other Public parks for graduation ceremonies? The current NYS DOH guidelines are contradictory with each option and completely take away from this celebration. So how can this be done? Here is a solution. Allow outdoor ceremonies with social circles. Allow principals to hand over diplomas. If a cashier can hand me my change surely a principal can hand over a diploma! The newly released WHO guidelines say a mask is recommended when social distancing is not allowed. Two arms length and a diploma in the middle is about 6 feet. A central area with a mark in front of the presentation area can be circled out and reserved for one family member to come to and take photos of this moment. Currently groups of 10 or less are allowed. Again, social circles can be set up near the presentation area to allow for keynote speakers, Valedictorians, Salutorians, and others to give traditional speeches or the performance of the National Anthem and school Alma Mater. Let them safely celebrate with beloved teachers, family, and their friends! Let School Districts follow the two main guidelines..... Social Distancing and masks when that can not be accomplished! The reality is that this can and should be done!!! 

PLEASE hear the plea of the Class of 2020 and their families. Allow these students and now constituents their BIG moment. They have earned it and sacrificed so much all ready! Let their families and communities celebrate WITH them! Please do it NOW, the longer School Districts wait, the harder it is to plan and make happen. Thank you! Class of 2020 and families! #We are all in this together!