Rathdrum parents, students protest graduation ceremony restrictions

RATHDRUM, Idaho — Parents and students gathered outside of Lakeland High School on Tuesday to protest the governor’s decision to restrict seniors from sitting together during graduation.

Governor Brad Little said ceremonies can be conducted if they are in abidance with the phased reopening guidelines.

Idaho is currently in stage 2 of its reopening plan, which allows gatherings of fewer than 10 people. If Idaho advances to stage 3 by the scheduled ceremony on June 6, 50 people could be allowed to gather, but they would be required to sit six feet apart from one another.

“It seems so arbitrary and it just doesn’t seem to make sense,” said Taryn Thompson, Senior mom.

Lakeland High School is scheduled to celebrate with seniors staying inside their cars, in order to maintain social distancing efforts.

“It’s like being stuck in a traffic jam. There’s nothing fun about it. You’re just sitting in your car,” Thompson said.

“We should be able to all be together for what could possibly be the last time we see any of our classmates,” said Woodward.

The school board agrees. They said they’ll allow all students to sit six feet apart during graduation, but they can’t do it without the governors permission.

“I think our seniors are getting the short end of the stick and the governor is not listening. We’ve had no response,” said Thompson.

Now, they’re going public, in hopes that their message will be heard loud and clear.

“Maybe he’s not reading our letters. Maybe he’s not getting our messages,” Thompson said.

This pandemic has taken away so much. They believe graduation shouldn’t be on that list.