BATEMAN: We’re tired of no, it should be a degree of yes

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(FILE PHOTO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

ELENA BATEMAN

I’ve loved my past four years at Roseville. I’ve loved every teacher, every class, every sport and every club I’ve ever had at RHS. Yet over the past month at home, I’ve had a much different perspective.

Never once have I felt that a teacher or administrator at Roseville hasn’t given their complete and total dedication. Every encounter I’ve had has been filled with love, support, care and admiration. But now when every ounce of administrative creativity and desire is vital, they appear to be lacking.

As a senior, this is clearly a distressful, heartbreaking and depressing situation. Virtually every senior celebration has been cancelled and instead of spending time alongside our friends and classmates, we’re at home dreaming about what could have been.

Seeing almost every other school and district finding creative ways to hold graduations and celebrations just deepens the COVID-19 wound seniors are experiencing. While schools in our county are getting free t-shirts, cap and gown pickups, parades and simulated graduations filled with videos of students grabbing their diplomas, we are merely being told that the teachers and administration are trying. No other communication, aside from one town hall meeting, lasting one hour, where only few were able to speak.

Other districts are being told the same things we are. They have the same guidelines, same restrictions and same health officials. Yet somehow those students have received more.

I am sure everyone involved at RHS is trying. I’m aware that many of their efforts have been shut down by the district. I appreciated, like everyone, the lawn signs that turned up one morning. But I also feel as though at first sign of trouble or cancellation, no immediate change or adequate flexible solution has been made.

I was excited for the possibility of cap and gown pickup. It would mean being back at school, seeing my teachers that I otherwise may never see again–even if it was through a car window. But when we were told it couldn’t happen, the solution was to do an at home drop and run; the first reaction wasn’t fighting that decision. It should have been.

People jamming into Walmarts; golfing with members outside of their households; going within 6 feet of others when getting food to-go–all don’t seem to matter. This is so incredibly frustrating and enraging. If our teachers and administration were willing to put up a fight and a strong defense, they would be constantly fighting orders, emailing their superiors, calling on volunteers and doing whatever possible to give some of what students and families want– not just “caving” to objections.

We should be fighting and demanding that the seniors are properly recognized or that graduation/receiving diplomas are deemed essential. There should be no situation in that something as minor as a photograph can’t be taken of seniors in a safe manner. We should recognize the health guideline incongruences and do everything in our power to fix them.

I think we can take advantage of loopholes. I think when a roadblock appears, we can find a creative detour and not just give up at first sight. I think we can stand tall under pressure rather than folding. I think we can push back and fight the objections. In fact, I know we can.

Roseville prides itself on community and history and I don’t think any graduate would be acceptable with how Roseville is being pushed around by the county and not fighting harder. Those same graduates along with the parent community would be more than willing to supply manpower to accomplish anything.

Again, I love and admire every teacher and administrator at Roseville; they’ve shaped who I am and who I’m going to be. There is no doubt that those involved in graduation and other senior events are trying hard. All I’m asking is for them to try harder. Please, fight harder and demand more for the seniors that have walked the halls the past four years. Fight for that picture in front of campus seniors will cherish forever. Fight for seniors to be able to walk across a stage, even if it’s not at a formal graduation. Fight to make a virtual graduation somewhat special and maintain normalcy. Fight for a graduation that we will remember in a positive way and not look back in horror. Fight to make the Class of 2020 remember Roseville High School with pride and honor.