(File photo)

Okanagan student’s grad petition gains steam

The petition asks for grad ceremonies to be rescheduled instead of moved virtually

A Kelowna student’s petition to reschedule graduation ceremonies is gaining some serious support from fellow students.

Rutland Senior Secondary student Ally Wyllie started the petition on May 4, asking the Central Okanagan School District to reschedule graduation and prom to later in the summer instead of moving the ceremony online due to the pandemic.

The petition currently has 1,797 signatures.

“We’ve been waiting for (graduation) for 13 years… of course, this isn’t the most important thing right now but it also is a pretty special day for grads and I speak for many students,” Wyllie said.

“I just don’t think a virtual ceremony is special enough, and a lot of other grads agree with me. So maybe, let’s postpone it until August, because we don’t know what things will look like then. If by August, there’s absolutely no way of doing it, then fine. At least we tried to get something done.”

She said some alumni from last year have told her to toughen up and accept the virtual ceremony.

“They can say that because they had their grad and their walk. They know what it’s like to have that special day and to be able to cross the stage.”

“But most people have been supportive and positive. People are really happy that someone is stepping forward and at least trying,” she said.

Wyllie said it has also been a confusing time. She said the email she got from her school implied physical ceremonies are cancelled, but she also has heard that other schools are trying to work on something.

She added they were told that graduates have to pay to get onto the ceremony conference call.

“I’m not sure which platform they’re using, but we have to pay to get onto the call. We’ve already paid the grad fees for the year, so having to pay again just seems ridiculous,” she said.

“Things are starting to re-open and the Interior itself seems like it’s been ok for the most part. B.C. has flattened the curve. COVID-19 hasn’t completely gone away but it will calm down and right now, it’s too soon to make the decision to cancel in-person ceremonies.”

She said she understands that if the situation worsens, an in-person graduation ceremony won’t happen but at least someone tried to make something happen.

“If it doesn’t work, then I at least know in the end, I fought for them and I tried my best to try and get our events postponed rather than cancelled completely. And I think that’s the only thing that’s keeping me ok with it possibly getting cancelled, because at least I know I tried.”

Black Press Media has reached out to the Central Okanagan School District. We will provide more information as details become available.

READ: Vernon and Kelowna protesters call for end to COVID-19 shutdowns

READ: SD23 asks Central Okanagan parents to weigh in on back-t0-school options


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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