High school seniors looking forward to graduation wonder what’s next after decision to close schools

Local News

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, schools in Virginia have been closed for the rest of the academic year. Thousands of students have been told to stay home, putting high school seniors who were looking forward to graduation in a difficult spot.

Loved ones, teachers and students typically gather at the Siegel Center in June for graduation. Many seniors said they are on edge as they wonder whether they will be able to walk across the stage eventually.

Elie Gordy, a senior at Manchester High School in Chesterfield, told 8News on Tuesday that she just wants to have her last high school memories. The 18-year-old was devastated when she heard the news that she and all her friends won’t be returning to school, go to prom and possibly not have a graduation ceremony.

“Of course I started crying and my immediate reaction, I snapchatted all my friends and I was like I love you guys. All my friends were crying, it was pretty emotional,” Gordy said.

The Virginia Department of Education released guidelines on Tuesday that allows eligible students to still get a diploma, but the decision on graduation ceremonies and proms are left up to the localities. Chesterfield County Public Schools has yet to make any formal decision.

“It seems surreal that it’s kinda, really over in a sense for this year,” Reese Gordy, Elie’s father and a Chesterfield teacher who also coaches lacrosse, told 8News. “I was looking forward to that, for 18 years to be honest. Hopefully we’ll have some sort of compromise.”

For more coronavirus coverage, click here.

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