By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on May 31, 2020
With a traditional First Flight High School graduation off the table, at least for now, a group of parents organized a celebratory cap toss on May 27 on the beach in Kill Devil Hills for graduating seniors.
Wearing caps and gowns – and divided into groups of 25 with graduates spaced at least six feet apart during the organized portion of the event – members of the senior class enthusiastically tossed their caps into the air three times during the 20-minute celebration, according to one parent who helped organize the event.
Highlights of the event was captured in a brief video by Peer Films of Nags Head that was posted on OBX Locals.
High school seniors across the state had their final year abruptly disrupted in late March due to school closings – canceling a number of senior events such as proms, senior picture days and traditional graduation celebrations.
In an effort to adhere to statewide restrictions and social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dare County Board of Education last week unanimously voted to move forward with drive-in graduation ceremonies that will begin June 1 and hold traditional graduation ceremonies in July if restrictions ease and conditions allow.
Regarding the May 27 event, the parent interviewed by the Voice said, “The intention was just for them to have that moment that you typically get at the end of a graduation – that kind of relief, that celebration all together – so we wanted to provide a distanced opportunity so they could have that moment.”
She said that the event plans were shared with as many parents of graduating seniors as possible, and that everyone was asked to stay at least six feet apart from those they weren’t living with. She noted that those in attendance did adhere to those guidelines for the most part, until the end when they took photographs with friends.
“I completely understand where the school board is coming from,” she said of their decision to delay a traditional graduation.
Dare County Schools Digital Director Keith Parker said the administration had no comment on the parent-led event. Efforts to reach Dare County Health and Human Services Department Director Sheila Davies were unsuccessful.