‘This is one of the most important moments in some of our lives’: N.S. students plead for graduation ceremonies
DARTMOUTH -- As graduation season approaches, students in Nova Scotia are hoping to celebrate their success with loved ones.
But the province's top doctor told students Friday to hit the brakes.
Emily Krupay, a Grade 12 student in Truro, is pleading with the province to let her school have a special drive-in graduation ceremony.
"This is one of the most important moments in some of our lives, and it just feels harsh to get it stripped away from us," says Krupay.
To her knowledge, Krupay says the event was successful in 2020 and doesn't understand why the province denied it this year, espescially since students are back in class, and drive-in movie theatres are operating.
But Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, has concerns.
"It's too big of a risk for us to take at this point. Given some of the experience that we had with some of the 'so-called' drive-in ceremonies last year, that's why I mention the 'drive-past,' where you have the graduates seated and people and everyone else is in their cars driving past, as a model they may want to look at," he said during Friday's news briefing.
That's exactly what is planned for graduates in Liverpool, N.S. after the community held a similar event last year.
"They'll all be six feet apart, sitting in their grad gowns, ready to see their family and friends come by, toot their horns, holler at them and celebrate them," said Deborah Raddall, a parent and event organizer.
Opposition leader Tim Houston says the province should provide clear guidelines for community-based committees working to organize grad events.
"Even some of the language, of potentially penalizing this year's grads maybe because of the actions of last year's grads, that doesn't make sense to me," said Houston, Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative leader.
"Let's have common sense. It's high school graduation, be very clear on what's acceptable, they'll plan to it."
The province says school-based grad events are separate from any other celebrations that are held in the community. Many schools will hand out diplomas on an appointment-based approach, similar to last year.
"So you have to pick a time and you get three minutes with your parents, to come grab your diploma and leave," says Krupay.
She says that's not enough, and she will continue to push the province for a safe celebration.