CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Disappointment from students and parents after CMS leaders set graduation plans for the Class of 2020.
After a district-wide survey, district leaders decided to combine two options.
Each school will hold a virtual ceremony. Students will pick up their diplomas at a drive-thru, with plans for a later in-person celebration in the fall.
“We have to choose quote-on-quote out of all virtual options. So, it’s not really the choice we want at all,” says South Meck Senior Class President Alli Dobbins.
She and other students are disappointed with the choices the district gave students in a survey.
“I just think that there could have been other options that made it more celebratory for the seniors, rather than all virtual,” Dobbins says.
Several parents and students spoke out at Tuesday night’s virtual school board meeting, arguing the district didn’t put enough thought into the process.
“Honestly it’s disrespectful to 13 years of hard work that all seniors have given, and it’s just sad to be part of this school community right now, it’s embarrassing, honestly, and I’m just not proud to be a part of CMS right now,” Ardrey Kell High School Senior Gianna Sidler told the board.
CMS leaders say the size of the district is the biggest challenge and that other options wouldn’t be safe or equitable.
“We’ve lost so much, with prom, with our senior field day, with Spring Break, and I feel like this is the one thing we could have kept, the one thing that really makes us class of 2020,” Dobbins says.
A lot of parents are looking at other districts like Cabarrus, which is doing an in-car graduation at Charlotte Motor Speedway, asking why can’t CMS do something like that.
District leaders say there are just too many students in CMS for it to work, with nearly 10,000 graduates last year.