HCS principals, board members to discuss possible locations for in-person graduations

HCS principals, board members to discuss possible locations for in-person graduations

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The decisions over in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 at Horry County high schools is still up in the air.

After two-hour discussion during a virtual meeting, the Horry County Schools Board of Education decided they needed more time to determine if those graduation ceremonies can happen without putting lives at risk.

The discussion comes after the school board reversed its decision regarding how to honor the Class of 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, district officials said they would hold a virtual graduation ceremony. That led to an outcry from some parents and seniors, saying they wished the district would have been more creative in coming up with a way to celebrate graduating seniors.

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Superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey said the district wants to be in compliance with the governor’s social distancing guidelines.

“We want to celebrate, but we also want to protect our students, protect our parents and our employees,” Maxey said. “Our students have worked hard this year and, as we know, have had all these unusual circumstances develop in mid-March.”

High school principals are now being instructed to talk further with board members representing their districts. They will discuss two viable options for possible in-person graduation ceremonies. They will either be held at the home football stadium or a larger venue space, such as the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Becky Lambert, whose son will be graduating from Aynor High School, said she supports choosing a graduation venue and not the original virtual option that was previously discussed.

“I would think it would be easier in an outdoor ceremony for social distancing. But virtual ceremony, I am not pleased with that,” Becky Lambert said.

Michael Lambert, 18, is Becky Lambert’s nephew and said he’s looking at all sides, but hopes his in-person graduation wish will come true.

“You look at all other seniors from past years, they got to walk and other years to come. They’ll probably get their own graduation. If it doesn’t happen, it will be a real downer. I would rather them do one of the two options other than a virtual graduation," Michael Lambert said.

The Horry County School Board will meet next Monday to try and come up with a solution for graduation ceremonies.

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