SEVERNA PARK, Maryland (WJZ) – For the second year in a row, public schools in Anne Arundel County have been forced to change their homecoming plans due to the pandemic.
The school district announced this week that the proms will be postponed due to the pandemic.
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“Our goal from the start has been not only to open schools, but to keep them open and allow our students to experience all that we have to offer,” said Bob Mosier, director of communications for the school district. “Our high school principals met with student leaders and provided feedback to Dr Arlotto that reflected the feeling that in light of the risks posed by the ongoing pandemic, postpone the dance while allowing many other festivities to continue. was cautious and best behaved. with our goal of keeping schools open year round. We hope to be able to organize these dances in the not too distant future. “
“It’s really unfortunate because I feel like overall it’s going to end up being canceled,” said Paige Davis, a county student.
At a school board meeting Wednesday night, a member said a petition to a local high school in support of the dances being held had received thousands of signatures. A motion to move dances outside also failed at that same meeting.
“Safety must be the priority,” said Robert Silkworth, member of the board of directors. “Going back to basics in a basketball season or a lacrosse season, it’s not the same, it’s just not the same, but that’s where we are. We are at a time when some of our traditions will not be the same. “
Melissa Ellis, another board member who supported the measure to move the dances outside, said: “I agree with Mr. Silkworth that a dance later in the year does not it’s not a homecoming. It’s not how it’s going to feel, it’s not how it’s going to be perceived by the students.
Baltimore County has decided to cancel proms and indoor cheering gatherings this year.
Baltimore City Public School officials said the district has yet to make a decision.
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In Carroll County, school officials said the homecoming dances would resume this fall and the dances would take place outside. According to Carey Gaddis, communications manager for Carroll County Public Schools, “because it’s outside, students won’t have to wear masks.”
Harford and Howard counties will have homecoming dances with efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.
A statement from a Harford County official said that “Homecoming dances are planned at each of our Harford County high schools with mitigation strategies in place. “
Howard County officials issued the following statement: “The proms will be held entirely outdoors at several schools, using stadiums or other spaces within the schools, such as parking lots. For schools that plan to use an indoor space for dancing due to size / site limitations, designated outdoor areas will also be available. All schools will hold outdoor cheering rallies. All school system procedures requiring masking will be in place for all activities held indoors.
With the postponement of the dances in Anne Arundel County, there are now concerns about fairness if there are private parties.
“There will be private events and some kids can be a part of them and some won’t,” said Joanna Tobin, board member. Tobin did not support the motion that attempted to move dances outside. Tobin told WJZ she believed the decision to move the dances outside should have been made by the superintendent of schools.
“The reunion this fall will be for some of our lucky students whose parents decide to have a private event and they will dress and they will have pictures and it will be during reunion week,” said Ellis.
Other reunion activities will take place in Anne Arundel County and this is why some students are wondering why the dances had to be postponed.
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“You can have soccer games with people without masks, 30 people in a bleacher and you can’t have a dance back home, I think it’s nice, it’s stupid,” Liam said. Cahill, a student.