Okanagan student hammers home message for teens to isolate, otherwise it could cost them their prom night - InfoNews

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Okanagan student hammers home message for teens to isolate, otherwise it could cost them their prom night

Krista Shepard wants other teens to acknowledge the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, as failing to distances themselves could mean no prom.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Krista Shepard
April 11, 2020 - 6:30 AM

Krista Shepard, like many Okanagan Grade 12 students, wants to celebrate her high school graduation.

But with current COVID-19 social distancing measures in place, uncertainties surround graduation and prom celebrations for students.

She’s frustrated that her peers aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, as it could cost them their prom, as well as people’s health and safety, she said.

She recently wrote a post about it, publishing it to her blog and on her journalism class’s website.

“We did this to ourselves, mocking the severity of the issue, then continuing to go about our days as usual,” she wrote.

“I’ve been very passionate about following the COVID-19 updates because our high school, our senior year, is so dependent on this,” she said.

Sitting on the grad council at Kelowna Secondary School, she said they’ve been working hard or organize the prom, and she decided to write the post because she’s seen the dismissive view many students have towards the pandemic and how some of her friends have refused to follow social distancing measures.

“You step up and tell them it’s not the right thing to do, and they don’t take it seriously,” she said. “A lot of teenagers aren’t taking it seriously.”

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As Shepard’s leaving Kelowna to attend Ryerson University in the fall, she hopes she’ll get to celebrate.

“It’s just very selfish and inconsiderate, not even for us seniors that feel like we’re being robbed of our grad but also, it’s selfish (because there’s) people in our community who are immune-compromised.”

Currently, the grad council at KSS has postponed its original prom date from May 15 to June 20 but it could even be moved to July or August depending on the pandemic, she said. The KSS graduation ceremony is currently scheduled for June 11.

Central Okanagan Public Schools board chair Moyra Baxter said the district is waiting closer to the date of the scheduled graduation ceremonies to see if schools can hold them as they'll be following provincial guidelines.

Graduation ceremonies are put together by each individual school, she said, noting that the first grad ceremony scheduled for the district is a KKS Indigenous one set to take place May 14.

GESS’s graduation ceremony is scheduled for June 19, Mount Boucherie’s is scheduled for June 25,  Okanagan Mission Secondary’s graduation dinner and dance is scheduled for May 17 and Rutland Senior Secondary’s ceremony is scheduled for June 19, according to the school websites.


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