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Lee County announces graduation plans for Class of 2020

The milestone of walking across a stage to accept your high school diploma in front of family and friends may not be in the cards this year, but administrators know how important it is and they’re going to make it happen.

The Class of 2020 in Lee County will be honored twice – first in June with a virtual graduation, and again in July with a more traditional ceremony.

Not everyone is happy with that plan, though.

Fort Myers High School senior Reece Hall said she was really looking forward to graduation this year – until she got a letter from her school.

“All the parents got an email the other day that basically said they’re scheduling virtual graduations for the beginning of June and that they would try to schedule physical graduations for July,” Reece explained.

She wishes the school district would have sought student input.

“It’s really sad that our voices aren’t being heard in this issue.”

The School District of Lee County said all high schools will hold a virtual graduation ceremony at the beginning of June, and if CDC guidelines permit, a more traditional graduation ceremony will be held in July.

Within hours of the district’s announcement, a petition went up online.

“The fact that we’re even having a virtual graduation I know is enough to make a lot of people really upset because that gives the impression that we’re not going to have a physical graduation,” Reece said.

The Lee County School Board said there will be two ceremonies, but some students won’t be able to attend at a later date due to college, military or work.

Reece fears with no date set in stone, the district may back out.

“I would definitely like to see a more concrete plan,” she said. “They could at least ask students what’s more important to them. They could’ve asked do you care more about rescheduling prom or graduation? We never really had that option – prom was just canceled.”

She’s hoping the district will listen to students’ concerns. She said she reached out to all school board members regarding plans, but so far has only heard back from one.

Collier and Charlotte counties have not yet announced graduation plans.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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