Ascension upperclassmen celebrate end of the year with drive-thru cap and gown, ring ceremonies
GEISMAR - Hundreds of students at Dutchtown High School went to school today during dedicated times to pick up their class rings, along with caps and gowns.
As the coronavirus crisis crippled life as we know it, juniors and seniors who were looking forward to fun were left in limbo at the end of their school year. Proms and ring ceremonies were canceled, and graduation is up in the air.
Kendall Samson said the past few weeks have not been easy.
"Prom was canceled," Samson said. "We had band events, two of them that got canceled. The ring ceremony wasn't completely canceled but wasn't what I expected."
The drive-thru pick-ups were organized by Jostens in Baton Rouge. Jim Rabb owns the business and said over the past 30 years he's never had a year that's been more challenging.
"We just came up with a plan, a drive-thru or drive-by where they can pick up their supplies, stay as safe as we can through social distancing and give them a chance to feel normal about their life," Rabb said.
Peyton Loving was one of the students that participated. Although he said he is adjusting to a new normal of learning virtually, he misses his friends.
"It's hard, especially for me," Loving said. "I like being able to talk to people, so being at home all the time is harder."
Samson agreed,"It's pretty rough. I like going to school to see everyone. Now, that everything is canceled, I just have to stay at home and haven't seen anyone in a long time."
Although most schools have not announced plans on what happens to graduation ceremonies, Rabb said he has been in touch with many administrators for the 115 schools that Jostens serves and all are planning to do something.
"Most administrators, 99 percent of them that I've talked to, have said they will do a graduation of some type," Rabb said. "Don't know when, maybe June or July, they just don't want to take that away from them, just not sure what capacity that may be in."
In Ascension Parish, Jostens is going by each high school this week and conducting similar ceremonies.