Letter: Royal seniors deserve live graduation

| May 5, 2020 8:56 PM

I am a graduating senior at Royal High School. I am writing this letter regarding your recent article, “Royal schools advance on online learning, graduation,” which was posted on the Sun Tribune News website on April 28, 2020. Royal City’s graduating class was devastated to hear that our graduation would consist of pre-recorded speeches and parades. Although we appreciate the fact that the district didn’t cancel our graduation, we aren’t fond of the idea.

On Wednesday, April 29, I started a petition to move the semi-virtual graduation to the football field while practicing social distancing and following necessary guidelines instead. Many Royal High School seniors believe we deserve to be represented by more than a car passing by or a livestreamed video. The graduating class deserves to walk across the stage that they have been dreaming of since the beginning of their high school careers. Parents who have supported their children and watched them stay up late studying should also get to experience the joy of watching their child walk across that stage.

The petition isn’t suggesting a normal graduation as Superintendent Trail had said; it’s suggesting a social distancing graduation or even moving the graduation to a later date when the governor’s “stay home, stay safe” guideline is lifted or lessened as most school districts are doing.

Many seniors want a traditional graduation and are willing to wait until that can happen. We deserve to walk across a stage. Seniors deserve to wear their cap and gowns, and be handed the diploma they have worked for throughout the years. The remainder of our senior year, our last year, has been stripped away from us. We didn’t know that Friday, March 13 would be the last day we would ever walk the high school hallways as a class. The graduating class deserves some sense of normality amid the COVID-19 chaos; whether it be a social distancing graduation in June or a traditional graduation in the months to come, we deserve to be able to walk across that stage. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Esperanza Gutiérrez

Royal City