Lindsay Thurber High School graduates have enjoyed ceremonies in the past. This year, their delayed celebration, along with those at two other Red Deer schools, has been cancelled for the class of 2020. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

2020 high school grads won’t get their ceremony

Decision announced by Lindsay Thurber and Hunting Hills high schools, and Gateway Christian School

High school graduation ceremonies that were postponed from June until December, have now been cancelled for Lindsay Thurber and Hunting Hills high schools, along with Gateway Christian School.

A Red Deer parent said that’s not fair and is looking to rally support for a future event.

“You can’t just cancel these kids’ graduation. Postpone it maybe for three months to see what happens. Surely, something can be done. Maybe they can have a double graduation with the 2021 students in May next year,” Janice Somer said.

“I just hope more parents will take action and just express their opinions. Some parents may be fine with it. I’m guessing the majority will not be happy with this decision either.”

Principals from the schools sent out an email about the cancellations on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, due to the continued restrictions on large group gatherings, this event will need to be cancelled,” the letter said.

“The decision was a difficult one, but given the current situation, we are left with no choice. This decision was not taken lightly and is consistent with all schools in Red Deer Public.”


2020 high school graduations postponed in Red Deer

Graduation lawn signs are ‘uplifting’

Somer said the small ceremony for Hunting Hills students was suppose to take place in the gymnasium, instead of the usual big celebration at Westerner Park.

She said the school asked parents earlier in the year if they wanted a drive-by grad in the spring, or a smaller event later in the year, and they chose the event.

“I just don’t think it can be cancelled. I don’t think that’s acceptable. These kids have suffered enough. They didn’t get to finish out their year.”

Somer said it was nice that teachers delivered diplomas and graduation caps to each student at their homes in the spring, but her daughter Gracie was so depressed, she couldn’t even come out of her room to answer the door.

“She hasn’t even gotten any signatures in her yearbook — nothing. It’s just been so sad. It’s just a huge letdown.”

Now, Hunting Hills is posting about the 2021 grad, which makes 2020 graduates feel even worse, Somer said.

“I don’t know what the solution is, honestly. But I just don’t think you can cross the class of 2020 off the list and pretend they didn’t happen.”

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