A school resource officer in Ohio has congratulated graduating seniors for years, but school closures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic forced him to figure out a new tradition.
Schools across the country transitioned to online learning in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus and enforce social distancing starting in March. Last month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that school buildings in the state would remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year in response to the virus.
So Summit County Deputy Todd Hart, who has been the resource officer for Green High School for years and has been part of the graduation ceremony, has decided to alter his plans accordingly, CNN affiliate WEWS reported.
Each year Hart lined up between the boys and the girls and gave each student recognition for their hard work as they went to receive their diploma, according to the affiliate.
“I congratulate everyone as they go out, either a high five or a handshake or a head nod or just a congratulations, but I at least try to make some form of contact,” Hart told WEWS.
While educators continue to come up with ways to teach online they are also looking for creative celebrations for the class of 2020. Officials with the Green School District are still trying to find a way to hold a different kind of graduation ceremony but Hart he would at least bring one of his traditions to the students, WEWS reported.
So he now plans to drive to the homes of all 317 graduating seniors and congratulate them one by one.
“Graduation is like their Super Bowl,” Hart told the affiliate. “Everything they’ve been doing for the last 12 years has been leading up to this one moment and now that moment is taken away from them.”
Hart has already congratulated 50 students and plans to visit each house by May 28, the original date graduation was scheduled for, WEWS reported.
He hopes that during a pandemic he can spread a little cheer to students and their parents.
“There’s a little glimmer of hope,” Hart told the affiliate.