Parents, students react to Republic High School’s graduation being canceled

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 9:51 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - On Friday night, the Republic School District announced that Saturday’s graduation ceremony had been canceled after the district superintendent tested positive for COVID-19.

The news came as a surprise for many parents and students, many disappointed to hear the event would no longer be happening this weekend.

“I was not expecting it at all,” Republic 2020 grad Kali Dawson said. “It felt like it was something that was just one time and one time only kind of thing. It was just like I kind of felt upset because it was senior year and I expected everything to go alright.”

One Republic mother said she was also disappointed to hear the news since this was her oldest child’s graduation. Ali Kies said her son has special needs, and when he found out the ceremony was canceled he was devastated.

“He kind of understands what is going on, but does not really understand what is going on,” she said.

Kies said she understands that the decision was likely very difficult for the district and said it always makes decisions with the students’ and families’ health and safety in mind.

“It broke their hearts to have to cancel it but they care for our students,” she said. ”But I’m also glad they thought of our safety over graduation.”

She said she understands the district is in a tough position where not everyone will be satisfied with the decision. But Kies said she thinks it was a safe one.

“I think it was in the best interest of everybody involved,” she said.

The district announced that it would ask the class of 2020 if they would like to re-schedule or cancel altogether.

“As a parent I would not want to reschedule it,” Kies said. “I do not want to get his hopes up again and break it to him that it was canceled again.”

Kali Dawson was in agreement.

“I feel like it is better to just cancel it because we do not know what is going to be down the road,” she said.

Both Dawson and Kies were glad the district at least had the opportunity to do a a drive-by graduation a few months ago.

Kies said she does have a few additional concerns about school starting now though.

“After this I’m just like oh boy,” she said. “You know, because a lot of the administration was exposed to this. The superintendent and a lot of the administrators at the high school are quarantined for two weeks. Which is about a week before school starts.”

She said she is concerned about this happening just a few weeks before students are back.

Students and faculty wore face masks during the ceremony dress rehearsal on Friday. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department said students do not need to quarantine.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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