Postpone Riverton High School Graduation

Postpone Riverton High School Graduation

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Kelsey Greenwood started this petition to Riverton School Board

Dear the Riverton community and friends,

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education has approved plans for the postponement of graduation, virtual ceremonies, and in-person ceremonies that maintain social distancing guidelines. The Riverton School Board has decided from these options to hold a ceremony for the class of 2020 that meets the social distancing guidelines despite the many begging seniors who want to wait for the chance of having a normal ceremony. No one from the board has asked the senior class or the community for an opinion for what we want as a whole.

We are happy to have a plan in place due to the current situation, but we believe it can be better. Last week, the Riverton class of 2020 was told that they would have a postponed graduation ceremony, but this week they were told otherwise. The Riverton Class of 2020 was informed that their graduation would take place a day earlier than originally scheduled, in a parade style ceremony leading up to the high school, and each senior would individually get called from their car to walk across a stage. 

By informing students and their families that the ceremony would be postponed, students got their hopes up for having a normal or more well thought out graduation. But, by retracting this statement less than a week later and stating a new plan that would be implemented only twelve days later, students and their families are not only devastated, but many are also feeling rushed. Many families will struggle financially to find or afford a gift at this time for their graduating students. Seniors will feel rushed to prepare because no places are open to help with hair cuts, formal clothes shopping, buy invitations for individual celebrations afterwards, and more.

With the current plan, the class of 2020 can not see their fellow classmates take the steps across the stage that they have worked so hard for. They have already missed out on so much due to COVID-19 such as their senior prom, senior awards ceremony, senior breakfast, and their last day of high school. A traditional ceremony should not be added to the list.

In addition to this, only the student's immediate family members are invited to ride in the car with the graduating senior. This means that community members and extended family members must watch from the crowded and chaotic parking lot or watch the ceremony online. 

Please help push for normalcy. It is worth the chance to postpone graduation and hope this accomplishment of seniors can be celebrated in a more normal fashion. Even if COVID-19 is still causing havoc in the summer, we could say we tried to wait for the normal side of of the situation. But, by jumping to conclusions and implementing the plan that is currently in place, we are rushing seniors to close their year in chaos and we are not allowing the opportunity for a normal service.

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