‘Graduation was snatched from under us’: HCS students, parents frustrated over virtual graduation

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 10:34 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - High school graduation not only symbolizes an end of an era, but it also represents the start of a new beginning.

However, many graduating seniors said it just doesn’t feel real to not have this chapter of their life formally come to a close.

“I just really feel like graduation was just snatched from under us," said Macie Rabon, a senior at Aynor High School.

Seniors across Horry County are disappointed with how their final year of high school is coming to a close. Instead of an in-person graduation ceremony, Horry County Schools said on Wednesday they plan to honor seniors with a pre-recorded video posted online.

“Everyone always talks about senior year is fun, senior year is the best," Jeremy Harris, a Socastee High School senior, said.

His mom, Joyce, said she wishes the district would have been more creative in coming up with a way to celebrate the Class of 2020.

“I wish we could do a ceremony even if it’s just parents and siblings,” Joyce Harris said. “It can be a downscale version of a typical graduation, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with a drive-thru graduation. You wanna do it parade-style, I’m okay with that too. I know we have to think out of the box these days; I just feel like they dropped the ball and just took the easy way out."

Susan Cortes, who also has a senior at Socastee High School, said her daughter looked forward to graduation and feared it was a day that might not come.

“High school for her, has been a struggle. The reason is that she’s a single mom. Everyone says she would never do this. But she did, she proved everybody wrong," Cortes said.

She said her heart breaks knowing her daughter Tiana will never get her moment.

Rabon believes the district took action too soon.

“He could have opened up a meeting or allowed students and allowed parents to have thoughts and ideas of what they wanted to do,” Rabon said.

Jeremy Harris said, above all, he’s upset his parents won’t see him walk across the stage.

“To our parents and everything, this is like an accomplishment for them and they raised us and everything. They wanna see us get that little bit of closure moving on from childhood to adulthood," he said.

Horry County Schools posted an update on Thursday saying that they appreciate all the seniors and parents who reached out to the district with their suggestions for graduations and that those options will be taken into consideration. The school district said that they are considering a wide range of options for graduations which include the use of football stadiums, alternate facilities, as well as the possible rescheduling of an in-person ceremony at a later date. HCS officials said they are dedicated to finding a resolution in the coming weeks.

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