Spokane Senior Parents 0

Honor our Spokane Seniors with a Safe, In-Person, Graduation

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We, parents of seniors in the Spokane School Dist. 81, Spokane high school seniors, and Spokane community members, applaud the efforts of the district administrators and local and state officials to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We are grateful for swift decisions, in the midst of uncertainty, to cancel school for the remainder of the year. We admire the hard work that is being done to provide an education for our students in the midst of challenging times.

We object to the idea of a virtual graduation and propose an alternative, but safe, graduation ceremony. We are proud of the seniors and the efforts that they have put in. We recognize their need to be honored. We acknowledge the importance of closure with friends. We see the impact of isolation and witness the uncertainty of the future in their faces. We believe that receiving a diploma in person and cheering for each other will provide an important moment in their lives, one that will help them to cope with their losses and move forward.

We propose the following, in order to provide a SAFE and MEANINGFUL experience for the seniors:

1. An in-person event with the students only. No family or friends will be in attendance. Ideally the venue would be large enough for parents to also safely attend, but we acknowledge that we, parents, would rather not attend if it means giving an in-person experience to our students.

2. The venue could be the Spokane Arena or Joe Albi stadium, where students will sit a minimum of 6 feet from each other.

3. All students will wear masks, and hand sanitizer will be provided upon entrance.

4. A live feed will be provided, so that friends and family in all areas of the world will be able to witness the celebration, without traveling to our community.

5. The ceremony would be similar to a typical graduation ceremony, without family present and without hugs and handshakes. Each student would be called up to receive a diploma. The students would be able to cheer for each other and see each other one last time together. They would be able to move their tassel together and see each other in caps and gowns.

6. The principal will also be masked and have hand sanitizer available on the front podium and tables. The participation of teachers is optional.

7. Other sanitation measures can be taken, as necessary, such as taking temperatures prior to entrance into the venue.

Here in Spokane, we have lines of people in Costco, Lowes and Home Depot. We have had, as of the origination of this petition, 338 cases of Covid-19, and under 20 deaths. A ceremony with only the students and administrators (parents and teachers optional) , will not pose an additional safety threat to our community if done properly.

We, parents, commit to helping as needed, providing funding as needed, and contributing to this cause in any way possible. We, high school seniors, commit to maintaining social distancing and contributing to the safety of this event. We, members of the Spokane community, support a safe and meaningful graduation for our seniors.

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