An online petition has quickly been gaining momentum to allow a modified outdoor ceremony for the 2020 Graduating Class of 2020 of Bow Valley High School.

Early this morning, the signatures number 29. At this writing, it has climbed to 53.

The online petition has been launched on seeking permission from Rocky View Schools and Bow Valley High School for a graduation ceremony that would comply with government safety directives for gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The petition states, "We do not wish to have a 'Virtual Grad' as some schools are doing at this time. We feel that would be a dismal and unfulfilling attempt to mark the end of 13 years of time and effort put forth by the graduating class."

Some of those signing detailed why they support the petition.

"I think with some creativity we could still make the 2020 grad something special even under the current guidelines," states one such supporter.

Another says, "I am a BVHS alumnus and I feel they should be able to walk that stage. I graduated in 2007 and I still remember that moment. It’s something we work so hard for and we are very proud to walk! They worked so hard to be able to walk the stage and turn their tassel. They deserve this!"

"They deserve their moment to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and turn their tassels. The families of these students also want to share in that moment."

Others simply stated, "We can do so much better than a virtual grad for the Class of 2020."

In a letter to parents and grads late last month, Greg Luterbach, RVS superintendent of schools, explained it was difficult to make the announcement.

"This was an extremely difficult decision for RVS – we understand that graduation represents a momentous occasion and celebrates the culmination of years of hard work. However, we believe that it is in the best of interest of our school communities to prioritize the health and safety of our stakeholders."

With all graduation ceremonies cancelled by Alberta Education, many high schools and post-secondary institutions are going virtual with their ceremonies. Some hope to hold a traditional ceremony later on.