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Clark County School District punts graduation planning to schools

Posted at 7:12 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 09:21:00-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In many ways, Liberty High School senior Jared Tufele said this year has been marked by what he hasn't been able to do.

"I lost everything," Tufele said. "I didn't have a prom. I didn't have a homecoming."

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Tufele says to have a somewhat normal graduation ceremony would mean "everything."

"It's hard not to get emotional," said Jessica Tufele, Jared's mom. "It's hard."

"It's hard to watch your senior not be able to have anything," she continued, "and now, the very last, you're going to take away that [graduation] too?"

Clark County School District has not canceled in-person graduation ceremonies but rather passed the planning to individual schools.

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Liberty High School principal Derek Bellow sent an email to families last week asking them to block off June 1 through June 5 for some kind of graduation ceremony.

Bellow says he'd like to be able to offer families a choice of a personalized graduation ceremony, which would allow for more guests to attend, or a larger, more traditional ceremony that would still fit into the state's COVID-19 guidelines.

Supt. Jesus Jara says the state's recent relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions could allow for larger in-person celebrations to happen but no decision has been made.

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Principal Bellow says what the school is able to do will depend on the state's restrictions.

If COVID markers continue trending downward, the state is expected to allow gatherings of up to 250 people by mid-March, which would allow for schools like Liberty to have around three more-traditional ceremonies.

Jessica Tufele says with our state's recent loosening of restrictions, there's no reason why a more typical ceremony couldn't happen.

"If you can have NASCAR, why can't you have graduation?" she asked.