'Missed so many milestones:' Some parents not happy with Johnston County's plan for drive-thru graduations, outdoor prom

JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Remember when families and friends packed arenas and stadiums for high school and college graduation? Those were days many of us took for granted.

And now, one year into the pandemic, the class of 2021 could be preparing for a 2020-style repeat of area graduations.

Johnston County Public Schools is the first district in the Raleigh-metro to announce its 10 high school graduations will either be drive-thru, or during an indoor ceremony by appointment.

The decision is based on Governor Cooper's Executive Order 189, which places restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings.


It is disappointing news for Deanna Rogers and her 17-year-old son Sam, who is graduating from Corinth Holders High in June.

Rogers believes the school district is taking another opportunity away from seniors, who've missed so many milestones already this school year.

Rogers wants a traditional-style event with social distancing and masks.

"I'm telling you with the COVID numbers coming down like they have, I feel like outside graduation is a very safe thing to propose. I don't think this is asking too much," said Rogers.

Prom season is also impacted in Johnston County. The event must be outside, no more than 100 seniors can attend each party and masks and sanitizing stations will be required.

The district says this plan will stay in effect - unless Governor Cooper changes his executive order by the end of April.
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