To the editor:
As a student in the graduating class of 2020, it is troubling to see that many schools are resorting to either canceling graduation ceremonies or opting for an online format during the COVID-19 pandemic. These options are vastly unequal to the importance of an in-person ceremony for a graduate, even when taking into consideration the compromises that need to be made as a result of COVID-19.
To examine why an online format is not acceptable, we can review the remarks of one of my fellow classmates. Julia Baumgart, a senior at Champlin Park High School states, “I think graduation should be postponed because many seniors, including myself, have been working for this day throughout our lives. This is something I’ve been looking forward to since Kindergarten and for [an online ceremony] to just be a possibility… has upset me.”
For further investigation, we can examine the possibility of a ceremony that could adhere to the guidelines of social distancing. The most obvious and conceivable plan could be a postponing of the graduation date to accommodate the timeline of the pandemic. Options could include setting the date for winter break or summer 2021.
The important consideration is that many students who would attend this graduation could be in college out of state, so the date would have to adhere to the typical breaks when a student would return home. Even though rescheduling ceremonies would result in additional work for the staff at high schools across the country, this work would be far outweighed with the gratitude of the graduating class.
Overall, I believe that a postponed in-person graduation is far superior to an online format and that the graduating class of 2020 deserves such a celebration for their accomplishments.
Chloe Line is a senior at Champlin Park High School.