Let's make In person Graduation 2021 Happen!

Let's make In person Graduation 2021 Happen!

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lynn stephens started this petition to Governor Northam

The graduating class of 2021 has been impacted by the pandemic in ways that has significantly altered their senior experience from cancelled internships, missed social events on campus and cancelled game days to a year of online classes. A motivating factor and proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” for this group of seniors has been the thought of in person graduation. Graduation is a rite of passage that is among our most beloved and time honored traditions. Ask any graduate and they will tell you walking across the stage for commencement was one of the greatest moments in their life.

While the planning and logistics of an in person graduation would be many; a virtual graduation lacks consistency with other events hosted during the semester by the schools. The schools have hosted   sporting events both inside and outside within the safety protocols set forth by the governor and CDC.  Graduation has been classified as a ‘social gathering,’ but requiring tickets to gain admittance indicates graduation is a controlled event rather than a social gathering. As such, graduation should be classified as an event, not a social gathering and should be able to adhere to guidelines for other events. Graduation should be allowed to take place with the proper protocols and the same capacity restrictions as other events on campus such as those held in performing arts venues, concert and sports venues, and convention centers to name a few. There are precautions that can be taken to ensure the safety of those students, faculty, and families wishing to attend graduation to possibly include the following: smaller ceremony sizes, utilizing large capacity spaces on campus both inside and out,  adhering to social distancing guidelines, mandatory masks, minimal guests attending, enhanced cleaning, and/or access to hand sanitizers, to name a few.

 The parents of these graduates are motivated by the importance of this event for our senior students and are willing to help ensure that it can take place safely in person.  Parents are willing to meet with school and/or state representatives to discuss solutions.  Many have volunteered their time or resources to help ensure that this event takes place to recognize the hard work of the students. Parents are a part of the  community and know from experience that schools will put forth the same efforts to appropriately celebrate its students.

The graduating class of 2021 has demonstrated nothing but resilience, strength and determination. They have shown the true definition of flexibility in the face of a worldwide pandemic and deserve to have an in person graduation as the culmination of their years of perseverance and hard work.  Together we can demonstrate our ability and professionalism to hold this important milestone event safely for these students during this unprecedented time. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!