Allow Vancouver Island 2020 Grads to celebrate a safe, social distanced graduation

Allow Vancouver Island 2020 Grads to celebrate a safe, social distanced graduation

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At the time of creating this petition (May 13, 2020), there have been a total of 125 reported cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, with 115 people recovered, meaning that there are currently only 10 infected people on the Island (that we know of).  This is proof that those living on the Island have been extremely cautious and aware over the past few months.  There are currently restrictions in place that allow for gatherings of up to 50 people max, preventing us from doing any kind of celebration or graduation together, as a class of 177 students at Frances Kelsey Secondary School.

With these restrictions, grocery stores such as Costco in Langford and Superstore in Duncan are allowed to have approximately 250 customers inside at once.  We recognize grocery stores are essential services, however the sheer volume and space between people is enough to cause some concern.  But, the reality is, graduating students who have worked hard incredibly hard for 13 years of their life are missing out on their last three months of school, and will not be allowed to see each other one last time to celebrate their accomplishments and success.  Please take the time to imagine what it might be like to be a graduating student in these times.  You are attending diluted online classes, stressing about university applications and the things happening around admissions, and you have not had the experience of finishing off high school.  Although you may or may not think highly of your graduation ceremony, it is without a doubt a milestone in your life.  A milestone the Grade 12 students around Vancouver Island aren’t allowed to achieve.  We all understand the seriousness of our current situation, we don't want to spread the virus and understand that our schools are doing everything they can, given the restrictions.  But we also see that when 600 people are allowed in a store together, social distance goes out the window.  Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have been in situations where we were uncomfortable by the lack of social distancing in public areas.  The grad we are asking for is an outdoor event, with mandatory social distancing, not suggested.  Furthermore, we could have coronavirus swabs taken on the grads who wish to participate, that is if this is the only way this plan will happen.

Thank you to everyone who is working hard to give 2020 graduating students a celebration we deserve.  Even if we have to wait until the end of summer or longer or have everyone swabbed to celebrate, I think students would really appreciate not rushing the plans that are being made for online graduations like we're seeing in SD62, that no one wants that.  We got here together and want to finish it together, like every other grad class before and after us will get to.