The Falmouth schools superintendent and school committee cancelled the planned in-person graduation almost literally at the 11th hour. It was a tough decision but, as they explained, some in the senior class had been exposed to COVID and holding graduation as a virtual event was the prudent thing to do. No one complained that we know of and selectmen praised the difficult call.
Bourne High School graduation was to be an in-person event last Saturday. It too was canceled and instead held virtually. The decision was made on a Wednesday, three days prior, on the district’s website. That night at the school committee meeting the superintendent said an in-person graduation would be unsafe.
Parents in Bourne were furious. One said the school administrators should be ashamed of themselves. Another said the planned in-person graduation would have followed state guidelines and that all the school administration was doing was teaching kids that you can say one thing and do another.
It was a marked difference from the reaction in Falmouth.
The difference is that the school administration in Falmouth was specific about their reason for canceling in-person graduation. They didn’t give a number but they let everyone know some number of the senior class had been exposed.
Administrators in Bourne, on the other hand, were vague. The superintendent said they had information they could not share. “We have received information that has caused us concern,” was all she said.
The Bourne parents knew the administration was hiding something, and it was. It should have given parents and students more to go on.
This COVID situation has brought an inordinate amount of uncertainty into our lives. Everyone is grasping for facts that can give some stability to their lives. When the Bourne school administration was stingy with the facts, it was likely the straw that broke the camel’s back.
We still don’t know what caused so much concern in Bourne. If it was that some students were exposed or came down sick, the administration should say so. Parents would have accepted it, just as they did in Falmouth, and moved on. It’s not that difficult.