High school seniors missing out on traditional rites of passage due to coronavirus

(KCRG File)
Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 12:48 AM CDT
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The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruptions to secondary education across the country, including in Iowa.

One of the side effects of this is that seniors at area high schools are missing out on some of the traditional activities their peers and parents got to participate in.

For some, though, it comes down to being apart from the same friends and classmates you've been through so much with for what should be a happy culmination of their high school experience.

"You spent your life with these people all the way from one year to literally 12 years," Richard Lock, a senior at Washington High School, said. "Knowing them in your entire life and you were all looking forward to this one moment and right at the finish line and gets taken away from you."

Several eastern Iowa high schools are honoring their senior classes by lighting up stadiums. Linn-Mar made a special video for their seniors and they even made signs to put in the graduating seniors' lawns.

"That is very sweet of them to do it, I thought that was a very special video," Breckin Meyer, a senior at Linn-Mar, said. "It just reminded me of all my great classmates I have and that I won’t get to finish the year out with them."

Graduation ceremonies are a proud time for families and their graduating kids. This year, for many, it likely won't be happening.

"That's just heartbreaking," Emma Prostine, a senior at Washington, said. "I mean that's something you look forward to from freshman year up."

It's a feeling shared among students at various schools.

"Yeah, it’s just a little disappointing," Will Henricksen, a senior at Marion High School, said. "All these years you’ve been with them, just seeing everybody every day in the hallway."

Still, the possibility that things get back to normal for at least a period of time in the coming months has some students hopeful for a celebration.

"We're still hopeful that we'll have some sort of graduation," Anna Bosking, a senior at Washington, said. "Even if it’s pushed into the summer, anything would be really fun."

Abby Bannon, a graduating high school student in Indiana, wrote a song about the 2020 class and it says it all. You can watch her song in full


"Here’s to the ones who won’t get a chance to take the field at their last home game or ask that girl to prom,"

Bannon sang in the song.

That goes for kids in eastern Iowa, as school closures will likely also cancel their prom night.

"You always see the movies where it's just, like, 'oh my gosh, it’s prom night. Our senior year, woo hoo!'" Lock said. "But, now we don’t actually get it."

Hopefully, they can still get their prom date when this is all over.