Petition to Reconsider Autauga County Schools’ Graduation

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Petition to Reconsider Autauga County Schools’ Graduation

This petition made change with 1,779 supporters!
Maddie Shavers started this petition to Autauga County Board of Education

Petition to Reconsider Autauga County Schools’ Graduation

On May 4, 2020, we received the plan for the virtual graduation. Although we are thankful for the work that was put into planning a safe event for the seniors and their families, we feel as if changes should be made. The vast majority of the Class of 2020 is devastated over this early action for a virtual graduation. We all had hoped that a summer graduation could be an option. This pandemic has taken many memories from us, including prom, senior picnic, senior trips, honors night, and more. Autauga County seniors do not need another thing taken away from us, especially the thing that is most important to us. First, in our opinion, delaying the graduation until June or July would possibly give seniors the chance to have a more normal graduation experience. Of course, this would be with safety precautions still in place if needed. For example, Chilton County is delaying graduation until June 12th. High schools similar to our population—such as Hoover and James Clemens—are also planning graduations later in the year. If things are not better by June or July, we could continue with the current plan. Another proposal would be to do the virtual option but attempt to provide a ceremony as well in June or July. 

One of our biggest concerns is that we have not received all our stoles and cords. These are so important to us, and we want to be able to wear them and display all our hard work and dedicated time to extracurricular activities we have participated in throughout the years! Such short notice has also created some concerns with scheduling for families. Multiple students and their families have shared that parents, siblings, and grandparents will be unable to come support their graduate because of this last-minute notice. Many students already have plans to be out of town during the week of our virtual graduation. Several seniors have already moved across the country and have not been given enough time to make travel plans to participate. Also, the week of May 11th is the same week as AP exams. This is extremely inconvenient considering multiple students will be taking several exams throughout the week.

 The Class of 2020 has gone through 12+ years of school and deserves a proper graduation. Because of the global pandemic, we can understand why prior plans and traditions must be altered. However, we can not understand why the board decided to hastily make plans and alterations to graduation. We feel as if waiting at least until the “Safer at Home” order has been lifted to make a decision was necessary. The week of May 11th is already prior to Prattville High School’s original plans for its graduation. Although many precautions would be taken if we follow through with the virtual graduation plan, multiple people could be put at a higher risk—elderly being our main concern because of the strict two-car rule. This is forcing grandparents to come into less than 6ft of other non-immediate family members, which is putting them at a risk. Multiple seniors and families have mentioned that they will not be attending because of this. 

The Class of 2020 was not allowed ANY input in this decision. We need to be a part of the discussion. If seniors were aware that the ACBOE was going to discuss graduation plans at the board meeting on April 30th, we would have been able to show our agreement or disagreement with its decisions and could have provided some options that might not have been considered such as a virtual graduation now in addition to a traditional ceremony later. Instead, the board meeting seemed rather private with no announcement about its deliberations to those impacted. 

We are petitioning for the ACBOE to reconsider its plans and wait to come to a decision rather than quickly make plans for a virtual graduation when the “Safer at Home” order is still in effect. Delaying such a decision and allowing for community input from students, parents, and others impacted would arrive at a solution that is more respectful and considerate of the graduates and representatives of the community’s desires to find some sliver of normalcy in this ongoing crisis.

 

 

 

Maddie Shavers         mgshavers20@gmail.com

Nisha Rockwell         nisha.rockwell@gmail.com

Maggie Glover          maggie.glover02@gmail.com

Sam Cowart               scowart101@gmail.com

Holly Turner              hollyjt28@gmail.com

Nic Millen                 nicholas870millen@gmail.com

Justus Smith              justussmith2020@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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