Scheduled graduation brings rays of excitement

Last year seniors from Lawrence County celebrate their graduation by throwing their caps into the air. 

 

Last Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced lifting of quarantine restrictions in Alabama, allowing for reopening’s of several businesses and restaurants. 

That was good news for citizens of Alabama and this week Lawrence County residents received even more good news. 

The Lawrence County school board announced on Monday that graduations at the four county high schools would go on as scheduled. 

This ends weeks of speculation about whether or not there would even be a graduation. It also brings much needed closure to a senior class that saw their senior year canceled during the home stretch. 

Per the school board, graduation for Lawrence County High School, East Lawrence High School, R.A. Hubbard High School and Hatton High School will go on as planned. 

Lawrence County and R.A. Hubbard will take place on Thursday, May 21 at 7 p.m. and East Lawrence and Hatton will take place on Friday, May 22 at 7 p.m. 

The announcement comes after Gov. Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home order was amended to lessen restrictions on public non-work-related gatherings, which went into affect after 5 p.m. on Monday. 

According to the new order, gatherings are no longer limited to 10 people, but gatherings of people who cannot maintain at least six feet apart from one another are still prohibited.  

This unexpected news played a huge part in the graduation plans going on as scheduled said Superintendent Jon Bret Smith. 

“Governor Ivey’s unexpected announcement on Friday really put things into motion,” he said. “Lifting the cap on the amount of people you can have at gatherings really put things into motion.” 

Of course there will be some caveats. It won’t be just a typical graduation as in years past. 

“We still have to follow social distancing guidelines. Families from different households will need to sit six feet apart. We are not requiring anybody to wear a mask but they are welcome to wear them if they want to,” Smith said. “We’re limiting seniors to six tickets each. Obviously we wish they could have as many present as possible, but six is better than nothing.” 

Each individual school may have additional guidelines, which should be announced either at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

The reaction to the announcement of graduation has been overwhelmingly positive throughout Lawrence County. 

“Of course you’re going to have those few out there that are negative nellys, but overall the reaction has been very positive,” said Smith. “I think this is incredibly important for our seniors, to be able to recognize them at the scheduled time that we planned. We’re all very excited that graduation will go on as planned."

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