The Class of 2020 deserves the right to have a in person graduation ceremony.

The Class of 2020 deserves the right to have a in person graduation ceremony.

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Austin Johnson started this petition to The class of 2020 and

An open letter to and from the Senior Class of 2020:

 


Where do we begin? 4 years ago when we walked into high school as freshmen. We were beyond excited and already dreaming about our senior year. Looking forward to the senior events such as Senior Week, Water Wars, Prom, and most importantly Graduation. To sit by in silence as Hillsborough County takes away our last chance to say goodbye to classmates, teachers, and just smile at the random kid from our freshmen home room is unacceptable. We’ve lost so much due to COVID-19 already, and, while we understand that there is so much at stake with everyone’s health and safety, it only adds to the fear of the unknown in the changing situation of the world everyday. But for us to sit and watch as surrounding counties and private schools within miles of us get the opportunity to do what we’ve worked so hard to fulfill these past 12 years simply is not fair. The county claims they’ve looked at solutions and considered every option, but, if that were true, why isn’t there a possibility like walking across a stage at our school’s stadium, socially-distanced with a mask? If they truly looked into it, why wouldn’t we be split into smaller groups and have the chance to walk across a stage and have our diplomas rightfully handed to us? If that we’re true, why wouldn’t we be able to conduct a graduation just like Clearwater, East Lake, or Largo? The Pinellas County School Board obviously did something right because in the coming week every single senior is being presented the opportunity to receive a diploma and say goodbye one last time. Hillsborough County claims that having a socially-distanced graduation outside while wearing mask isn’t safe, but yet they let 150+ staff members into the building two weeks after graduation was originally scheduled to take place. Hillsborough County is filled with more than enough good-willed, kind-hearted people that would be more than happy to help volunteer at these ceremonies which are still more than capable of taking place. If their goal was to fail the entire of class of 2020, well then congratulations Hillsborough County, because as of right now, you have succeeded at failing us in our closing moments under your care. And whereas you have always taught us to strive for much better than failure, this seems a contradictory final lesson. Seniors, please speak up, voice your opinion, let it be heard, tell the county how they’re wrong, provide more options and ideas, and give us one more chance to fulfill and recognize our 12 years of work together.

 


-Class of 2020

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