On behalf of graduation

Hewitt /
13 May 2020 | 04:43

    I am a parent of one child who is graduating from West Milford High School. Sadly, though beaches, boardwalks, farmers' markets, state parks and other various outdoor activities are reopening around the state, our students are being denied the opportunity to have a safe, outdoor graduation ceremony because of the current restrictions mandated at the state level.

    Clearly, this disparity is perplexing .

    Like many of you, I have been to a state park, boardwalks, supermarkets and hardware stores over the last weeks, and though these situations seemed safe, the amount of people I encountered in these environments were less socially distanced and controlled than a well-planned commencement ceremony would be with a limited number of guests.

    Moreover, our township’s high school graduation is still many weeks away at which time - consistent with the current trends - should move us into a place where even more things would be reopening around the state.

    As I told our superintendent, who has been very attentive to my pleas yet is limited by the state mandate, we could always keep a virtual plan in place should the situation take a downward turn.

    In light of all of this and on behalf of every family around the state who has endured so much these last weeks, I would ask each of you to lend your voice to this situation so that our children can safely celebrate this milestone by contacting your state representatives and Governor Murphy.

    Their email information can be found at https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp and https://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/all/ respectively.

    As I told our superintendent, I have five family members who are essential workers, two of whom are first responders, and it is in that spirit that I move forth with the belief that our graduation can be safely done.

    Thank you for your anticipated support and may God bless each of you and keep you safe.

    Catherine DeBenedetto

    Hewitt, N.J.

    P.S. On Wednesday, May 13, New Jersey lifted some restrictions saying it would begin allowing graduations as long as everyone stays in their cars.