COVID-19 creates uncertainty for Selma High graduation ceremony

Published 4:59 pm Thursday, April 16, 2020

The graduating seniors of Selma High School returned to campus for the first time in nearly a month on Thursday afternoon to pick up their caps and gowns.

Rather than walk up and be handed the graduation materials, as would normally be the case, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced students to pick up their cap and gowns via drive through.

Though the pandemic has removed some of the human element form the occasion, the faculty and staff of Selma High we’re doing their best on Thursday to support their Saints as they waved blue and gold pompoms at the students from a safe distance and offered encouraging words as they distributed caps and gowns wearing protective masks and gloves.

Selma High Principal Stoney Pritchett was in attendance Wednesday, overseeing the process and waving at students from a distance.

“A lot of them are going to go home, try their cap and gowns on, take pictures and post them [on social media],” said Pritchett. “That’s a good thing. We want them to do that, because it’s up in the air whether we’re going to have that ceremony or not.”

While many schools across the state, and across the nation, have cancelled graduation ceremonies, Pritchett said the Selma High team is constantly brainstorming to make sure seniors have some sort of experience to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Pritchett said there are to plans currently being discussed: having a “virtual ceremony” via social media or split the class into groups of 10 and have several small ceremonies.

“There are a few things we’re brainstorming,” said Pritchett.

Pritchett said the faculty and staff at Selma High are working so hard to provide the students with a graduation because the idea of not having one is disappointing to both students and parents.

“As a parent myself and as a former student, I know most parents and students look forward to graduation, the day when students are able to walk across the stage and receive their diploma… A lot of my students aren’t going to get the chance to go to college, so this is the only graduation they have… to have that taken from them… that’s a piece of their history that they won’t get again,” said Pritchett. “I just want all of our seniors to know that the faculty and staff of Selma High School love them and that we’re going to try our very best to make sure they get the recognition that they deserve and complete all the requirements to get to the next level.”