Horry County seniors are heartbroken over virtual graduation Covid-19 coverage
Macie Rabon picked up her cap and dress from Aynor High School on Thursday, but she has no place to wear them.
There will be no traditional graduation ceremony in Horry County this year.
“I am very disappointed with our riding,” she said. “It’s just not fair.”
After Governor Henry McMaster closed schools for the remainder of the semester due to COVID-19, Horry County Superintendent of Schools Rick Maxey announced on Wednesday that graduation in the district would be virtual this year, with more details to come from each high school later. time.
“This spring is unprecedented, not only for us locally, but for our state, our country and the world,” said the superintendent. “Therefore, we have had to change our lives individually and socially to combat the impact of the COVID-19 virus.”
Maxey mentioned in his April 22 video that schools and the district will showcase seniors on websites and social media throughout May.
School board president Ken Richardson said he would look at all options for seniors.
“My job is to look at all possible scenarios and find the best possible solution for the elderly,” said Richardson. “I have reached out to other school board presidents in other states and am taking everything they tell me into consideration at this time.”
Rabon, an AHS elder who plans to attend Wofford College in the fall, hopes another option for graduation can be implemented.
“Some students may be the first in their families to graduate from high school,” Rabon said. “This is an important milestone for so many students and families. Even if it is only old people present and the parents are watching [online] … Just the physical aspect of being there and crossing the stage [is important]. “
Abigale Acerbi, a high school student from Conway, took to social media to express her thoughts, saying the class of 2020 was anything but thankless.
“As a class, we’ve been through tough things and we’ve come through them all,” Acerbi said. “In March, we were blind to the fact that we would be having our last day as seniors without even knowing it. We have been stripped of all the unforgettable moments that come with being a senior, such as elementary school visits, academic signing day, senior awards and most importantly, our diplomas. We deserve more than an online degree. “
Jennings Hall, a senior at North Myrtle Beach High School, said the news of the virtual graduation was a slap in the face, especially after having already had bad news that morning about the school being closed for the year .
Hall said she understands why schools are closing and why it would be difficult to re-enter, but she believes the district made a hasty decision regarding the graduation ceremony in April, when ceremonies usually don’t take place until after late May or early June.
“When I watched this video [of Dr. Maxey]I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing, ”Hall said. “It was just devastating and disappointing for me. Our school district is amazing, I have always loved being an HCS student. When I heard this, I was completely disappointed.
She said she broke down after seeing the video, and also said the decision was made too quickly.
“It was almost the last moment of hope to get something normal,” she said. “It’s a punch in the face to see him push us aside and say on April 22 that it’s going to be virtual. Very disrespectful to the whole class of 2020. I will never forget that. It’s mind-blowing to me. It was as if they were just trying to finish the school year as quickly as possible so that they could worry about the next one.
Hall and his friends started a petition called “Let the Students of Horry County Graduate”. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had over 1,000 signatures.
They hope these signatures will let the district know that there are alternatives for graduation that will always leave them with everlasting memory without simply relegating them to a computer screen.
Faith Davis has a chance to be Aynor High’s student this year.
“When I learned that the last year was officially canceled, I had [graduation] in mind, but I really thought that the schools in Horry County, in particular, would go out of their way to do something special for their elders. I was really shocked and honestly just started to cry, ”Davis said. “Yesterday was full of bad news… I believe greater steps can be taken by our communities, schools and district to honor elders. Taking a photo or video and uploading it isn’t how any of us planned to end the year, and I don’t personally think that honors everything we’ve worked for. “
Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236