DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Throughout high school, Alyssa Rodriguez has kept one moment in mind. “I just wanted to graduate. That’s all I wanted,” said the Skyline High School senior. “I wanted to walk on that stage.”
But, the traditional graduation ceremony is a milestone she may never experience, following a decision by the Dallas Independent School District not to hold in-person celebrations this year.
“In the interest of safety and health of our students and their families, we will stick to virtual graduation,” said superintendent Dr Michael Hinojosa.
Rodriguez joined seniors from other Dallas ISD schools at a press conference Tuesday calling for the district to reconsider.
“Graduation is not a gift. We worked hard. We earned it,” she said, addressing the media. She’s among hundreds of students to sign a petition, and Wednesday plans to take part in a protest outside Dallas ISD headquarters.
“I’m gonna fight for it because i deserve it and so does the rest of the class of 2020,” she said.
Fort Worth ISD also planned to hold virtual ceremonies, but after outcry from its students added the option of attending small gatherings with a limited audience.
Frisco ISD has booked Toyota Stadium to allow its graduates and their families to observe social distancing.
Globe Life Field will host ceremonies for half a dozen local districts, including Grand Prairie ISD.
Texas Motor Speedway will host at least eight more districts, including Denton ISD.
Plano ISD has postponed its graduations until August, and McKinney ISD is planning a drive-thru graduation ceremony.
“I could literally sit in my living room in my pajamas and watch my graduation. What? What? Does nobody else think that’s crazy? Does nobody else think that’s wrong?” asked Alyssa.
The senior is among those not satisfied with the Dallas ISD plan and says she’ll be urging the district to find a better solution.