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Canutillo seniors able to walk across stage, maintain social distance during graduation

CANUTILLO, Texas -- More than 400 Canutillo High School seniors walked across the stage this weekend for the 2020 commencement ceremony while following social distancing guidelines.

"We didn’t want to get in trouble, we didn’t want to violate any of the guidelines, we didn’t want to jeopardize anybody’s safety," said Canutillo principal Teresa Clapsaddle. "It was very important that we were still able to recognize our students."

The high school was open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and students were told to come at a certain time based alphabetically on their last name. This only allowed a certain amount of students at a time and safe distance for each student to graduate.

Students, dressed in their cap and gowns, were dropped off with their parents and escorted inside the auditorium one by one where they waited for their name to be announced.

Parents were able to walk across the stage with their child. they walked to the middle of the stage where a diploma was waiting. They posed for a picture in front of an empty audience.

Senior Jaqueline Garcia told ABC-7, "I was a little sad that my parents wouldn’t get to see me graduate, but having this gave my parents an opportunity to see me graduate as the last child."

After a student walked across the stage, they walked outside, opposite from where they entered, and posed for pictures before heading home.

As one student walked off stage and exited the building, another name was announced.

It was a streamlined process that maintained social distance.

El Paso / News / Video

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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