Class of 2020, we've got some bad news. Whether you were graduating from college, high school, middle school, elementary school, kindergarten, private school or public school, or any other sort of 'advancement', you're not getting a ceremony.

Executive Order 107 was signed in February, but recently amended to say that

Recreational and entertainment activities ... are also prohibited from taking place within the brick-and-mortar premises of essential retail businesses ... or within the facilities of public, private, and parochial preschool programs, or elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools.

The entire Executive Order has a lot of "whereas" and "therefore" and "pursuant to", which unfortunately seems to lend itself to some questions and grey areas and loopholes. What I got from the news is that if Monmouth University or Barnegat High School or Veterans Memorial Middle School wanted to give their graduating class a ceremony later in the summer, they would be barred from doing so.

As far as "parties", it does seem like graduation parties will fall under the "no gatherings" ruling. If you want to have your whole family over to celebrate your grad, then you'll have to be willing to take the risk that your nosy neighbor will call the cops. If you're fine with that risk, don't let me stop you.

It's a crappy situation, and a drag for any students who worked so hard to graduate. It's also tough because these kids were blind-sided by this. One day they were at school, hanging with all their friends, and the next day it was all gone. They've missed the academic aspect of being in class, and the social aspect of being around friends and doing extracurriculars.

The amended order does say that it will be in effect for as long as Executive Order 107 remains in effect or until subsequent order is issued, and since things seem to change very quickly as of late, there's always a chance we could see graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020.

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