Postpone Class of 2020 CBE Graduation Ceremonies

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Update: Thank you to those who support our point of view through this petition. We would like to emphasize that through this petition we only wish for the CBE to revisit their decision when it is appropriate to do so with consideration to the COVID-19 situation. Students are aware the future is uncertain, and that we may not have a traditional graduation if the situation is not favourable to do so. IF there is the possibility, we hope that we are able to enjoy these events. 

The Class of 2020 is heavily disappointed by the Calgary Board of Education’s decision to cancel graduation ceremonies and banquets. Many of the Class of 2020's student body is proposing to postpone both these events to later dates, keeping in mind the circumstances of COVID-19.

Students understand the current circumstances revolving around COVID-19, and the importance of physical distancing as well as quarantine. Students support the efforts to flatten the curve. The City of Calgary has issued that social gatherings are to be cancelled until June 30th. We are in agreement that there should not be large social gatherings during this critical time. Although, this does not justify the overall cancellations of these events in the long term.

We believe this decision was a poor representation of the interest of our student population, and the CBE has not been able to “empathize” with us as they claim. We are astonished that the CBE would consider, “different opportunities for our graduands to receive yearbooks and certificates and potential video tributes in June”, as a form of compensation for these irreplaceable events. 

Students respect the Calgary Board of Education's decision to cancel these ceremonies due to the current circumstances. We are requesting the postponement of these events to a later date when there is a solution to COVID-19 or the situation is under control. We are open to alternate dates that the CBE is willing to provide, instead of cancelling the events. Of course, we are aware of the restrictions there are provincially, as well as nationally. With these aspects taken into consideration, we are suggesting this solution. We hope that the students and the CBE can come to a successful, mutual understanding.

CBE highlights a key value on their website, “We acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the diversity of our learners”. Cancelling graduation ceremonies prevents the Calgary Board of Education from fulfilling this value. To walk across the stage to receive your diploma and seeing your parents’ smiles is an irreplaceable feeling which is wrong to take away. After high school, students venture onto their own academic journeys, leading them to potentially be unable to see their classmates for years or ever again. Although students respect class cancellations due to health concerns, one cannot deny the fact that their senior year and festivities have been taken away; cancelling graduation ceremonies takes a toll on mental health as well.

The students of the CBE respect the efforts that need to be made for COVID-19, and we are hoping that the CBE is willing to respect the importance of our ceremonies.

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