Should In Person Graduation be happening?

Olivia Sperbeck, Staff Reporter

Graduation is one of the most anticipated moments of a student’s life, signifying the end of high school and the beginning of exciting things to come. As with every major event, COVID-19 has caused much debate about whether such a large gathering can be held in person. But as we make advances like vaccinations and we begin to better understand the limitations of preventative measures, the answer is becoming clearer. If seniors can attend school full-time, they should be able to attend their own in-person graduation. Students should be able to participate in one of the most memorable experiences of their lives, closing out their high school careers. This is why Mounds View has made the right decision in having in-person graduation.

The school’s decision to hold an in-person graduation is completely justified because of the decrease in COVID-19 cases. Cases have dropped dramatically since they peaked in December and January. The overall improvement of the pandemic situation in recent months and the importance of graduation makes an in-person graduation not only feasible but something Mounds View should strive for.

Social distancing will also be enforced during graduation. With these preventative measures in place, in-person graduation should be safe. According to the CDC, “COVID-19 mainly spreads among people who are in close contact (within 6 ft).”. With the diplomas being passed out in a contact-free manner, students do not have to risk being less than six feet away from someone else. This should significantly decrease the probability of someone getting infected and make graduation as safe an event as possible.  

Additionally, with the current COVID-19 restrictions, graduation could have fewer attendees than the number of students present at Mounds View on a regular day. If the number of family members attending graduation is limited to two per graduate, the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure at the event is less than that of attending class. However, this does require the maintenance of a certain attendee cap. The current plan for the graduation ceremony guarantees two tickets for guests per student but offers the reservation of up to four additional seats. This is a policy that should possibly be revoked in order to maintain security and equity when deciding which students can invite extra guests as venue limitations will likely prevent every senior from having their whole family in attendance.  

While the measures slated to be in place at the ceremony should mitigate much of the risk of spreading COVID-19, the remaining risk is balanced by the sheer importance of the event. Giving the seniors a pale imitation of what graduation should be is not giving them the appreciation they deserve. They finished all four years of high school. That achievement should be properly celebrated. This year, seniors deserve to walk down that stage and receive their diploma as much as the students before them. Cutting out another major marker of the high school experience after over a year of cancellations and losses would be unfair to those who worked so hard to get to this point in their lives. 

In-person graduation should absolutely occur because graduation can be safer than a regular school day, especially with the decrease in COVID-19 cases, and taking away the experience of graduation would be unfair to this year’s seniors. 


Works Cited

Golden, Erin, and Jeremy Olson. “Walz: All Minnesota Schools Should Offer at Least Some in-Person Learning by March 8.” Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 18 Feb. 2021, 

“Social Distancing.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,