Fargo parents petitioning to be at graduation ceremonies

FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) Fargo parents are petitioning to the Fargo Public School's Superintendent to be allowed to attend next week's graduation ceremonies.

The petition comes after both Fargo and West Fargo schools announced while in-person ceremonies would be held, spectators would not be allowed.

As a mother of senior triplets, last week's announcement hit hard for Lori McClary.

“As a parent, to tell me to watch it at home on YouTube is just heartbreaking,” McClary said.

However, instead of sitting around and complaining, McClary along with other Fargo North High moms got to work creating an online petition and working the phones trying to convince school leaders to change their tune.

“We want to get everyone in the same spot and just have them listen to us and realize that it’s something that’s very doable,” McClary said.

“We’re not asking for all friends, family and stuff. We’re just asking as parents to be able to see our kids walk across the stage,” Nancy Dohrer said.

McClary and Dohrer say they’ve already done the math, and with Fargo North’s class of around 200, allowing two guests per graduate still leaves plenty of room for social distancing.

“If you put six feet squares or blocks on the football field, it could accommodate 1300 spots,” Dohrer said.

“I really feel we can do this safely outdoors, not touching each other or touching other things,” McClary said.

Both women say they’d be willing to enforce temperatures are taken at the door and masks are worn by all.

“We’re open to anything! We can sit on the bleachers six feet apart, or us as parents would be happy to go help mark the football field with ropes or whatever we would need to to make squares for people to stand in. That’s where we’re trying to reach out to find out what we can do to make this happen,” Dohrer said.

Dohrer and McClary say they are hoping to meet with school board members and Superintendent Rupak Gandhi this week in an effort to make sure not only they can attend their teens’ ceremonies, but Fargo South and Davies parents can as well.

“I’m sure they’re feeling the same way we are,” McClary said.

Fargo Public Schools says when their original plan of two guests per graduate was shared with local healthcare experts, Fargo Public says they were highly encouraged to take a more conservative approach with no guests at the graduation ceremonies. The district added while 'it is never our intention to exclude parents and families, as we fundamentally recognize the role they have played in helping seniors throughout their K-12 careers,' the district says they have a responsibility in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

To sign the petition click here.