Joy that Governor Phil Murphy declared that New Jersey high schools could hold graduation ceremonies turned to anger for many high school students, their families and the elected officials who represent them this week, when they realized how impractical, cumbersome and expensive Murphy’s rules would make the ceremonies. Murphy effectively announced that graduations could take place and then issued guidelines that prevent them from happening.
They answered, as they took their fees, ‘There is no cure
for this disease.’ Hilaire Belloc, 1870-1953
By Tom DeSeno
This is not to dethrone doctors from their rightful lofty place
in society; it is to dethrone them from an even higher place, so high that they
don’t deserve it. They don’t deserve to
be seen as infallible, nor do they deserve the power to usurp the decision
making of the people’s representatives in government when it comes to public
policy. In particular, referring to the public policy of not allowing live graduation
Medicine is an inexact science. That is why it is regularly referred to as
“medical arts.” While biology is a pure science,
virology in particular is the applied science that makes use of the biologist’s
library of accumulated knowledge.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on every New Jersey resident. As such, I fully support all responsible measures necessary to protect our residents during the pandemic. That being said, we simply must advance solutions that allow for the safe re-opening of our state on a clear and more accelerated basis. Governor Murphy’s actions to date have been slow and ineffective; we lack crucial details about how and when we will get NJ back online. Among the many more disappointing aspects of the Governor’s response has been his decision to prohibit high school graduations. While we must protect against unmanaged large gatherings, there is no question we that can design safe and efficient solutions to allow for graduation ceremonies. Our high school seniors deserve this.
Toward that end, I am calling on the Governor to set up a state-wide task force of education and school business leaders to design Guidelines for Safe Graduation Ceremonies (“Guidelines”). While we have been given a glimmer of hope that there “may” be graduations in late July, we need to work hard now to ensure that this will become a reality and not an empty promise. Below is a suggested preliminary outline for the task force and certain items for consideration: