We Deserve a Graduation

Tania Guerrero

A high school graduation ceremony is one of the most significant events in a teenager’s life. The day families get to watch their children cross the stage in a cap and gown proud of their accomplishments. However, with COVID-19 this was not completely possible for students who were part of the class of 2020 and 2021. Fortunately as 2022 came around, students were able to go back to in person learning and the  mask mandate was even removed from schools. Considering these facts, students in the class of 2022 should be allowed to have a graduation ceremony with their families.


Although it may be true that COVID-19 safety measures continue to be significant, CPS and Phoenix Military, have not shown to really believe this. Lifting the mask regulation, made it clear that CPS believes it is safe enough for 500+ students in  a school to come into direct contact with each other on a regular basis.


Phoenix also enforced this idea by holding military ceremony practices with all students indoors in the gym, without practicing social distancing or any other kind of safety measure. These practices took place more than once, and there were two actual ceremonies where two grade levels attended at the same time. Parents,  staff, and  teachers also attended.


Regardless, Phoenix has still denied the graduation ceremony as an option because of “safety measures”. They are denying a  ceremony which takes place only once, and will only involve the 112 students and their families in the senior class. If each of those students were to bring in 4 members of their family, the total count of people would be 448 + staff, a much smaller number than the 540 students and staff in the promotion ceremony practices.


The class of 2022 was also not given the opportunity to participate in their last homecoming dance which is usually a memorable event for most. The school claimed that it was also for safety measures and that CPS was in control of this. Many other highschools, including Kelly and Curie, both of which are CPS high schools, had a homecoming dance. Is it because of safety measures or are they  picking and choosing  which events Phoenix wants to put in effort for?

 If Phoenix listened to CPS when they stated it was unsafe to hold any student events and allowed the seniors to miss out on many of their final high school activities, the school should listen to CPS when they say it isn’t safe for 500+ students to roam around without masks. The fact that the class of 2022 was able to attend a military school promotion ceremony despite not being able to attend their final homecoming dance or a regular pep rally shows that Phoenix knows how to make things happen. In conclusion, Phoenix should make the class of 2022 graduation ceremony happen. Speak up and share any ideas to come to an agreement with staff. Don’t let them say no to a once in a lifetime event. It’s not their ceremony or memories, it’s yours.