Hersey High School students petition district to reschedule graduation, not cancel it

Coronavirus

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – A group of Hersey High School students is desperately trying to save graduation.

They are appealing to the school district to reschedule it, not cancel it.

Senior year has been great for Emily Butryn and Hannah Van Merven. Now, all they want to have is a traditional graduation. But they said District 214 isn’t giving them that option.

“One (option) was to keep it scheduled where it is now, but change the type of commencement that it was or to cancel it,” said Burtyn. “There was no hope in the message about a possible reschedule.”

The two have started an online petition that’s amassed over 3,000 signatures. Students just want to have traditional graduation at a later date and not have it virtually or an outright cancellation.

“We want to walk that stage,” said Van Merven. “Get our diplomas, in our caps and gowns.”

The district’s superindentent said they are incredibly sorry in a statement on its website.

“To our seniors and their families, I am incredibly sorry that your senior year hasn’t ended the way any of us would have expected or wanted.”

The district said public health concerns and social distancing means the May 20 graduation will not go on traditionally.

Students hope the administation will consider the petition as voting continues for a virtual graduation or canceling it.

“It just seems that we’re moving to the next level without really finishing it out and being able to say goodbye,” Van Merven said.

As of right now, May 20 remains the graduation date.

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