TRENTON, N.J. – A resolution (AR162) was introduced Thursday by Assemblyman Jay Webber urging Gov. Phil Murphy to allow high school graduation ceremonies. The resolution has bipartisan support and sponsorship.
“The cancellation of graduation ceremonies would be a sad – and unnecessary – punctuation mark on the successful elementary and secondary education careers for tens of thousands of young New Jerseyans and their families,” said Webber (R-Morris). “Especially these days, when we all could use something to celebrate, high school graduations as we have come to know and expect them could and should go on safely and responsibly. Seniors know, as much as anyone, that the virus has real consequences and that social distancing is important. They understand their graduation ceremonies must be modified. And no one, including Governor Murphy, has provided a reasonable explanation why well-intentioned and smart people cannot find secure ways to honor the hard work and accomplishments of our state’s graduating classes in this environment.”
Public support for modified commencement ceremonies is growing. One online petition to allow graduation ceremonies has already surpassed 40,000 signatures in just five days.
Joining Webber in sponsoring are Assemblywomen Annette Chaparro (D-Hudson), Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen) and Jean Stanfield (R-Burlington), and Assemblymen John Catalano (R-Ocean), Christopher DePhillips (R-Bergen), Jamel Holley (D-Union), Greg McGuckin (R-Ocean), Ryan Peters (R-Burlington), Kevin J. Rooney (R-Bergen), Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth), and Hal Wirths (R-Sussex). Other sponsorships are developing.