NEW JERSEY – Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths called upon Gov. Phil Murphy to reverse his opposition to holding safe and responsible outdoor high school graduations for Garden State senior students.
“If people can responsibly walk and celebrate in our parks and forests, then graduating seniors should be able to walk and celebrate their accomplishments in the same way,” Space (R-Sussex) said. “Part of graduation is marking a young person’s achievements and their passage from youth to adulthood. I believe they can do so responsibly and safely with family and friends looking on from a distance.”
The governor’s opening of the certain parts of the state economy, though delayed, has already been a success and that graduations will help return a sense of normalcy to our next generation, Wirths (R-Sussex) said.
“We tell young people that if they do the right thing and follow the rules, they’ll be successful and their maturity will signal greater trust,” Wirths said. “I can’t think of a better way to reward graduates’ hard work with a little more trust and guidance from my generations to celebrate their graduation.”
Murphy’s executive orders have clamped down on large gatherings – like high school graduations – even limiting drive-by parades despite the use of common-sense social distancing practices, for fear that New Jerseyans could not be trusted to act responsibly. Actions such as these have resulted in seniors across the Garden State creating numerous petitions pleading for in-person ceremonies, and the introduction of a bipartisan resolution urging Murphy to allow high school graduation ceremonies, the District 24 lawmakers said.
“Don’t let fear steal their senior year,” Oroho (R-Sussex) said. “We believe that reasonable concerns can be met and overcome by prudent planning and we implore the Governor to trust our graduates and those who have loved and nurtured them over the years. Let them walk into a bright future free from fear and full of pride.”