Fargo Parents Create Petition To Attend High School Graduations

Parents are trying to arrange a meeting with the school board on Wednesday, the superintended says they have no plans to attend.

FARGO, N.D.- Lori McClary is a mom of triplets, two girls and a boy who are graduating from Fargo North High School.

It did not sit well with her when she was told she would not be able to attend her children’s graduation in person.

“As a mom. I want to be there and sitting on the couch at home watching on youtube is just not acceptable,” she says.

Fargo Public Schools decided that in-person graduations will be held with just students and staff.

“This took a lot of us parents by surprise as one of the guidelines was that no parents would be able to be in attendance and the kids would go get their diplomas and it would be broadcasted on youtube,” says Nancy Dohrer, who started the petition.

Parents from Fargo North, Fargo South, Davies and Woodrow created a petition and want to meet with the school board to discuss alternatives.

“In the parking lot, we could space out families. You know every other parking space. We did the math for us up here at North and the parking lot would be a great space,” says Dohrer.

“I believe we can have 1,300 couples on the field that would be separating for six feet that they feel we should do,” says McClary

The parents say they want their children to hear the cheers from their greatest supporters as they receive their diplomas.

“It’s a big time in their lives and ours too see them walk across that stage,” Dohrer adds.

“We’ve been through games, concerts, and we just feel this is a huge event in their life, a big accomplishment, and we want to be there to support them,” McClary adds.

Superintendent Rupak Gandhi issued a statement saying: “It is never our intention to exclude parents and families as we recognize the role they have played..However, we have a responsibility to our broader community and help to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The full statement from Superintendent Gandhi:

“Fargo Public Schools has crafted a plan, supported by Sanford Health and Fargo Cass Public Health, for an in-person graduation ceremony to celebrate graduates.  I recognize the fact that a graduation ceremony without parents, loved ones, and the broader community isn’t ideal. I would love to be able to hold our typical graduation ceremonies, if it did not pose an additional safety risk. We are bound by the ND Smart Restart guidelines and rely on our community health organizations to help assess the risk and threat associated with COVID-19. When our original plan was shared with local healthcare agencies, which included two guests per graduate, we were highly encouraged to take a more conservative approach for ceremonies and hosting large gatherings. Fargo Cass Public Health and Sanford Health recommend no guests at the graduation ceremonies. During this time of a global pandemic, I must take the guidance from our healthcare partners.  It is never our intention to exclude parents and families, as we fundamentally recognize the role they have played in helping seniors throughout their K-12 careers.  However, we have a responsibility to our broader community and helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Click here to see the petition.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News