While N.S. grad ceremonies forge ahead, some Grade 12 students saddened by cancelled proms

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer has outlined this year’s rules for high school graduation. Dr. Robert Strang says those ceremonies can proceed under strict gathering limits, but schools will not be organizing any proms. Reporter Elizabeth McSheffrey speaks to Grade 12 students to find out how they’re receiving the news

Some Grade 12 students in Halifax, N.S., say they’re saddened to hear their schools will not be organizing proms this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, confirmed the news in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Graduation ceremonies will still proceed in accordance with indoor and outdoor gathering limits, but any prom-style events will have to be organized by parents or community members.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia reinstates isolation for N.B. travellers, graduations get the green light

“I was expecting to have a prom,” said Grade 12 Citadel High School student Heny Patel, who has been monitoring the province’s case numbers.

“I also have my dress and I was so sad. I spent all that money for nothing.”

Despite the news, Patel said she and her friends plan to have a small party to celebrate their graduating year.

If the number of attendants exceeds 10 people, Dr. Strang said Tuesday, a “recognized business organization” must host and be accountable for ensuring participants adhere to the gathering limits and public health protocols.

Citadel grad student Liam Feargrieve said he was “disappointed” he wouldn’t likely get a prom with his entire graduating class.

“I was looking forward to it. I sort of think of it as a highlight of a person’s life, I want to say.”

Classmates Cameron Delaney and Joe Hubley said they weren’t expecting a prom to begin with.

“It’s important to some people and I think it varies a lot,” said Hubley.

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This year, classes will end one week early for graduating students, in order to allow school communities to plan all the graduation ceremonies and events in detail. Schools with large graduating classes will have several smaller group ceremonies.

Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, said the HRCE will provide all the support it can to ensure its schools have what they need to make those ceremonies count, building off the success of ceremonies held in 2020.

“We know from the feedback we received from last year that the ceremonies they had to recognize the students’ achievements were very memorable, they were very much appreciated,” he told Global News.

“We expect our schools are going to have very similar opportunities to give those students the recognition that they so richly deserve.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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