Miner Editorial | Preserving a rite of passage

Walking across the stage and getting that high school or college diploma in front of friends and family is an American rite of passage. Maybe even a right of passage. But not for the Class of 2020.

Born in the aftermath of 9/11, growing up during the Great Recession, and now this.

Prom. Spring sports. Concerts. Field trips. Awards nights. All canceled because of the coronavirus. And the ultimate injustice – no graduation.

On the plus side, this can help build character. At the very least, these kids will have stories to tell their grandchildren. “And we didn’t even have toilet paper,” they can say.

However, missing graduation, with all the pomp and ceremony, that’s a story without a happy ending.

But thanks to the administrators, boards and staffs at local schools, the members of the Class of 2020 will have some cherished memories after all.

Kingman Unified School District will hold a virtual graduation ceremony. The speakers will speak. And the kids will walk in caps and gowns – alone and at their scheduled time – and receive a diploma at the football field. It will all be photographed, compiled and edited into a commencement ceremony that will be streamed online on May 18 and again on May 20. Virtual senior award nights for both Lee Williams and Kingman high schools are also being planned.

And there’s also the possibility that an actual graduation ceremony can be held at a later date in the summer or fall for those who haven’t moved on or can come back.

Likewise, Mohave Community College graduates will salvage something of that special day, and get a crack at a do-over. An online video ceremony is slated for 3 p.m. on Friday, May 15. A digital program will also be provided, listing the names of all graduates and the awards that they won. Then, when the health crisis is over, receptions will be held for the graduates at each of the four campuses. They’ll also be invited to graduate in conjunction with the Class of 2021 next May.

At the Kingman Academy of Learning, the high school principal reports that graduation plans are in the works. We’re sure they’ll come up with something nice for the kids, too.

Sorry for your loss, Class of 2020, and thank you for your sacrifice. And thank you to the school officials who are going above and beyond to keep your special day special.

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