High school students devastated as formal graduation ceremonies grind to halt due to COVID-19

High school students devastated as formal graduation ceremonies grind to halt due to COVID-19
WatchWith dresses and suits already picked to celebrate a milestone, grads of 2020, across Canada won't be having the graduation party they worked years to have. Under COVID-19, Ceremonies won't look the same, but as Julian Kolsut reports, they may still go ahead.

High school graduates across the province are devastated that their formal celebrations have ground to a halt due to COVID-19.

Now should be the time of year where the high school class of 2020 throws on their dresses and suits, and celebrate their over one-decade of schooling.

But not this year.

“Ceremonies and celebrations we expect to have to have when we make this major transition from high school to the rest of our lives are on hold,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer on Saturday.

As a result, many grads have turned to platforms like Tik Tok to make the best of a bad situation. But still, it’s clear many are upset.

Parents and students from Oak Bay High School say their formal ceremony planned the end of the year will likely not go forward.

“I’ve been looking forward to graduating for a long time,” said Declan Smyth, a grade 12 student at Oak Bay High School.

“I’ve been robbed of that and I think all my peers have as-well.”

All the while, those critical classes they need to graduate, have moved online.

“It kept my whole life in check,” said classmate James Miller.

“You wake up at a certain time, this is what you are going to do today. For online classes there isn’t that urgency,” he added.

And beyond all that, the pandemic has shaken many.

“We grew up learning about stuff like the Spanish flew and all these crazy diseases,” said Smyth. “I never though in a thousand years something like this would ever happen or we would have to live through it.”

But parents and schools are still looking for solutions for the graduating class of 2020.

Sabira Charlesworth’s son is one of the valedictorians for the class.

“There can be a combination of online and I have even heard people talk about a car parade. I am sure there will be lots of creativity,” she said.

But one thing’s for sure.

“We are going to look back on this and be like wow I can’t believe that actually happened,” said her son Zach.

It’s a grad they definitely won’t forget

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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