The Class of 2020 Through the Lens of COVID-19

The Lost Semester

Schools are closed throughout the Sacramento area. Elk Grove Unified School District will be handing out Chromebooks from April 1st through 9th for families without other computers in order to begin a program of distance learning. Any hope that kids will return to classrooms before summer has faded.  

This is uncharted territory, and it brings anxiety. We worry about our children losing out on valuable education. Large school districts were not set up to teach so many kids remotely, and the logistics of trying to get such a system in place are overwhelming. Teachers have been assuring parents that a few months out of school will not cause lasting harm. We all need to remember that: one lost semester will not have a profound and lasting effect on our children’s overall education. Additionally, they are all experiencing the lost time as a group, so no individual or group is disadvantaged. We are in this together.

The Class of 2020

One subset of students, however, will lose an important rite of passage. It is highly unlikely that Californians will be gathering by June, and because of that, high school seniors will be deprived of their commencement ceremonies.  

Thirteen years of required education culminates in that special event. Each year, in front of family and friends, graduating seniors wear their ceremonial robes, honors cords, and decorated caps in anticipation of walking on stage to collect their hard-earned degrees. It is a moment all of us can remember in our own lives. The turning of the tassels, the group bonding, the mixed emotions of sadness, joy, anticipation, and trepidation. It is a really significant event in a young person’s life and it seems especially unfair that so many students will miss out on the pomp and circumstance. The Class of 2020 will always be remembered through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Documenting the Surreal

From adversity springs creativity, and many students within the Class of 2020 are putting on their rose-colored glasses and finding ways to inject joy and humor into their plight. One such way is through their graduation photographs. During home photo shoots, seniors are wearing their graduation caps and gowns, then adding trendy accessories: face masks, gloves, and cans of Lysol.  

Celebrate Our Graduates and Recognize Their Loss

It is safe to assume that social distancing orders will still be in place in California come June. That limits the number of attendees at a graduation party to the members of a household. Many families are planning for their graduate to wear the cap and gown, and walk their residential hallway while the ceremonial song plays through the Amazon Echo. Speeches will be given, tears will likely be shed, but let’s face it…while it is always best to try to find a silver lining, it is a simple fact that 2020 seniors are getting a bum deal.  

Watch the YouTube Video.  Below is a long version of “Pomp and Circumstance” for home graduation use.

Once we emerge on the other side of this virus’s peak and can begin socializing again, we will all think back to the gatherings and events we missed.  We should grant our high school seniors extra special permission to mourn their losses.  Not only do they miss out on so many “lasts”… the last high school pep rally, Senior Prom, Senior Sunrise, the final yearbook signing… but they will not experience one of the most important American rites of passage, the walk of graduation.

We are sorry, Class of 2020. We hope things turn around soon and that you receive all that your are entitled to as a graduating senior.

Elk Grove Personal Injury Lawyer 

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney in Elk Grove. If someone’s careless driving injured you or someone you love, reach out to my law firm free & friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

Photo Attribution: Pexels from Pixabay

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