CORONAVIRUS

Davis County Parents, Students Push Back Against Virtual Graduations

May 4, 2020, 6:57 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

FARMINGTON, Utah — Some parents and students pushed the Davis School District to reconsider virtual graduations after officials announced plans to have a PowerPoint style presentation broadcast over the internet.

It’s not the greatest ending to a senior year, but district communications officials said they’re doing everything they can to keep students safe.

Administrators said they’ve looked at about a dozen possible options.

Celina Villatoro is a senior at Clearfield High. She said she and a number of friends have reached out to administrators over the decision for a virtual graduation.

As you can imagine, they’ve already missed out on prom, yearbook signings, and much more.

“We didn’t get to see our friends for the last time. We didn’t get to say bye. It’s hard, it’s really hard,” Villatoro said.

A spokesman for the Davis School District, Chris Williams, said a lot of consideration went into this decision.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep students safe,” Williams said. “We have to.”

But a graduation in St. George is giving at least some parents hope in another idea.

Tiffany Smith, the mom of a high school senior, said she would like to see the district walking students through the auditorium one at a time, socially distanced with their families, as was done in St. George.

“We have to make different accommodations, right? But we also would like to just let the kids have a chance to walk across that stage, and their families to be there, and to see that,” Smith said. “The kids are here today, getting their caps and gowns, and walking through and grabbing that. It would really literally be about the same contact.”

Williams said that was among the options they looked at, and in part because of the large size of their ten high schools, it just doesn’t work.

“There’s no way we can socially distance the graduates,” Williams said. “And then when it comes to the parking lot — people showing up, or people leaving — we have no control of any of that.”

Many students at several schools were getting caps and gowns today so they can have pictures taken for the virtual graduation.

Williams said it was important to have the ceremony on as close to the usual date as possible.

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Davis County Parents, Students Push Back Against Virtual Graduations