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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

In response to the Tuesday-Wednesday front page article on traditional graduations, in the subhead you could have added: "Parents, students, teachers and administrators not happy." No one that I know of at the school is happy about how this virus has changed our lives. Many of the teachers at our schools probably have more invested in these students than some parents. We are emotionally invested in these young men and women that we have been teaching and mentoring for four years. We have been there to give them advice, encouragement, tough love and motivation. It is truly our desire to see them graduate in a traditional sense. But we also must look at the logistics and issues that have caused this problem in the first place. The article talked about how people understand now. Look around town. See all the people not conforming to 6 feet, not wearing a mask? Yes, some people do and will but to think all will, to use another word from the article, “ridiculous."

This virus has caused a lose-lose situation as it comes to graduation. Some institutions with the money and resources have been able to accommodate with limitations and restrictions a “traditional” graduation. Many school districts have opted out of having any type of ceremony in order to safeguard the students, parents, teachers and public. I thought the fact that the district was doing all it is doing with the virtual graduation has been well thought out and in the best interests of all concerned. It will allow many students who need to move on with their lives in May to be a part of graduation. It would be impossible or difficult for many to come back in the summer to attend. Many will not see the sense of it. But, if we can capture the excitement and emotion now and then be able to show that later, well at least we have done something.

As a teacher, I know how much the teachers here in Casa Grande care about your child. And we will continue to do all we can for them for the safety and health of all.

Mark C. Blaydes

Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)

Casa Grande Union High School