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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rod Hamilton (R)

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Monday, May 11, 2020

On May 8, the Governor's Office released guidance banning graduation ceremonies statewide, regardless of class size or space available for the ceremony.  


State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Red Wing) said he was dismayed with the decision.


"The one hope our outgoing senior students had left was a graduation ceremony," Hamilton said. "Their final months of school had been taken away. Their spring activities and athletics had been taken away. Their band concerts and prom had been taken away. The one thing they had left was a ceremony with their classmates to celebrate their accomplishments, and now the Governor's Office has taken that away too."


On Friday, May 8, 2020, Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker issued guidance that removes the careful planning conducted by school leaders and parents regarding safe graduation ceremonies.


On Monday, Hamilton signed a letter directed to the Governor's administration asking them to rescind this unnecessary decision.


"Why can't they have an open and honest conversation with parents and local school officials who can make a safe and responsible decision?" Hamilton wondered. "Exhaust every scenario around hosting a ceremony for the 2020 graduates. Answer questions such as: can we safely practice social distancing? Can we host the ceremony on the football field or golf course? Could we shut down Main Street? I'm most disappointed about the lack of trust in faith in our local officials from the Governor's Office. Because of this, our high school seniors will needlessly suffer."