FALCONER – Seniors at Falconer High School have launched a petition calling for a traditional graduation after the Board of Education decided to host a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Falconer High School Senior Alyssa Wright’s “Let Them Walk” change.org petition so far has gained the support of over 400 in the community.
Wright tells WNYNewsNow she, along with her fellow classmates, are asking the school board to reconsider their decision.
“I want people to know that we are not okay with what they decided, and it would have been nice if they would have talked to us and talked to our parents to come up with something,” explained Wright. “So now, we are using our voice to come up with a better solution to better fit everyone.”
Wright says students were first notified of the decision via a letter posted on their school locker, the day they returned from working remotely to pick up belongings.
High School Principal Jeffery Jordan says that he has talked with Wright about coming up with a plan that is “as close to normal” as possible, yet, keeping students and families safe.
“Our plans are that we would have a ceremony that would be virtual, trying to keep it as normal as possible with all of our speakers and awards, and everything like that,” explained Jordan. “Then have a diploma drive through where families with our 2020 Seniors could come to our athletic facility, walk on to the field, walk across the state on the field, and use our scoreboard and screen we have to announce their name, and show their picture, and have families be able to take pictures that way while keeping social distancing of course.”
Jordan says this is not his first choice to hold a graduation, although due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is the “best case scenario” now.
Wright, after speaking with Jordan, tells us she is grateful they are now working with students to find a better solution that follows safety guidelines, but, continues the traditions of graduation.
“I would like to come up with a solution that is safe and works for everyone, it still follows the guidelines of social distancing, but, it still gives us that chance to walk across the stage,” furthered Wright. “I feel that all seniors deserve to have that moment.”
Jordan says he wants to give the senior class the best possible graduation. Furthermore, he is proud that Wright spoke out and advocated her position.
The administrator furthered that next year, he will invite the 2020 graduating class back to graduation to be honored during their tradition ceremony.
Going forward he plans to continue communication with the Seniors as they work to plan this year’s graduation event.
To view the petition, click here.