Give the Vancouver 2020 Grads a real graduation ceremony.

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As the Vancouver School District grads of 2020, we would like the Vancouver School Board to reevaluate the decision to replace our graduation ceremonies with virtual ones, and consider postponing our graduation ceremonies until it is safe to hold them in person as originally planned. Here is why-

Covid-19 has taken a devastating toll world-wide and as the graduating students we understand its severity. We understand that it is a public health and safety risk to have graduation ceremonies take place on their originally planned dates in June. However, it is not acceptable to replace a highly anticipated and well earned ceremony with a virtual graduation, as proposed by the Vancouver Board of Education. We would like to remind you of the significance of a graduation ceremony, for it is not simply a gathering; it is a once in a lifetime experience that brings all of the grads together one last time, allowing them to reflect on their distinctive and unforgettable journeys through high school together. A graduation ceremony provides closure to a memorable and significant chapter of students' lives. High school is where life-long friendships are made, interests are discovered, and the paths of the future are cultivated. Therefore, a virtual graduation will simply not suffice to conclude such a significant chapter of the 2020 grads' lives. This pandemic was in no way predictable and took the world by surprise. Accordingly, the graduates should not be penalized with replacements to graduation that do not satisfy the conditions and requirements of a traditional graduation ceremony.

The grads are proposing to have all graduation ceremonies in School District No. 39 postponed until it is safe to hold them in-person as they were originally planned. Just because graduation ceremonies are traditionally held in June does not mean they must happen then or not at all; it does not mean that virtual graduations should be forced that will leave the grads with an ungratified end to their high-school experience. Throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic our government has proven that as a country we are more than capable of rearranging events to better fit the current circumstances-- why shouldn't this be an option for the grads?

We would greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment to consider our situation and reflect upon what it would feel like to lose your graduation experience. Please share our petition with your friends and family to help us get the graduation that we deserve. We are all in this together!