Some Dallas And Fort Worth High School Seniors Upset Over Virtual Graduations

High School Seniors say they've worked to hard to not walk across the stage

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Normal high school graduations include caps, gowns, and seniors walking across a stage in front of family and friends.

For Dallas and Fort Worth Independent School Districts’ seniors that won’t be the case this year.

"Kind of a slap in the face cause we've gone through all these years of education and especially the high school years have gotten more difficult," Dallas ISD senior Charlie Chio said.

Dallas and Fort Worth ISD will do graduation virtually.

"I felt upset at first because since I was a child I always dreamed of walking the stage and receiving my diploma because that's what traditional graduations are and that's what you're heading for," Fort Worth ISD senior Claudia Rodriguez said.

Some parents have another burden.  They have some graduation expenses they can't get refunded.

"Mind you we don't have anything,” Charlie’s mother Beatriz Chio said. “I don't have a cap and gown. I don't have announcements. We have nothing. So I didn't see a big deal about issuing a refund."

A group of Forth Worth seniors aren't giving up on walking across a stage. An online petition has been started to convince school leaders to let them walk.

"It doesn't seem fair a bit fair not to have a traditional graduation,” Rodriguez said. “So this petition is asking if we could push back the date and maybe have graduation in June, July, or August."

Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa says things are too unstable to try and wait.

"We have 37 schools and almost 9,000 students so logistically it would have been hard to do anything in person,” Hinojosa said. “Especially with the safety requirements. So, maybe we can have some closure this way by doing them virtually."

It is a form of closure.  But not the conclusion the class of 2020 was hoping for.

"Not being able to walk the stage like a lot of our older friends have really is such a pain,” Chio said. “We worked so hard to get here only to have someone on a computer screen say our name." 

Dallas ISD will hold virtual ceremonies starting May 22.  Fort Worth ISD said theirs will begin in June.

As an added salute to seniors, Dallas ISD is inviting the community to step outside their homes on May 21 at 7 p.m. for a 10-minute district wide ovation to graduates.

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