UPDATE: In response to the Open Letter and community reaction, several seniors involved with the event shared this apology letter.
On May 13 at 6:30 p.m., countless seniors gathered against healthcare recommendations at the SCSA fields to celebrate senior week.
This group of people, against the wishes of the school, state, and healthcare professionals across the country, met without masks and practiced zero social distancing guidelines.
As a senior, I’m ashamed of my class.
Students posed for pictures, promoted this behavior on social media and most of all created a perfect breeding ground for the virus.
Social media posts are not worth the risk.
According to Governor Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan to get the state safely back to normal, it is illegal for groups over 25 to meet before May 24. In the same plan, Holcomb advised all Indiana residents to wear masks when going out in public, advice these members of the senior class ignored.
Some of my fellow classmates may argue and claim that they have an extremely low risk of death from coronavirus, so it’s okay for them to meet. The purpose of social distancing, at least for teenagers, is not only to prevent us from getting the virus and dying but to prevent us from unknowingly spreading the virus.
Hypothetically, yes, a teenager’s chance of dying is significantly lower than a newborn or someone older with preexisting health conditions, but if someone asked me to eat a Skittle out of a jar of 100 and two of them were poison, you can bet I’m declining the offer.
It seems that my classmates have forgotten that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and this virus is no less real than it was in March.
The irony of this reckless behavior on a day that we should have been celebrating the hope of graduation occurring cannot be overlooked.
If the administration sees seniors willfully ignoring social distancing, they might be forced to cancel commencement due to safety risks. But, I mean, if that’s what it takes to show seniors that this is a serious matter, I guess it has to happen.
To my classmates, my friends, and the people I grew up with: I beg you, for the sake of graduation and being able to go to college in the fall, that you please stay home and continue to social distance. If not for your own safety then for the safety of your loved ones.