Tedisco Calls on State to Let Students Walk Across Stage for School Graduations

Senator Tedisco and his Union College Basketball Co-Captain Bob Pezzano at their graduation

With COVID-19 vaccinations increasing and New York State steadily reopening, Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville), Ranking Member of the Senate Education Committee, today is urging the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to immediately issue new guidelines and safety protocols to enable schools and colleges to hold graduation ceremonies and other end-of-school-year events for students.

Senator Tedisco noted that stadiums for professional sports teams such as baseball and football, along with large gathering arenas have been given the green light to reopen with some restrictions, so it is appropriate that our schools and colleges be given the same ability to hold important functions such as graduations.

Tedisco has written to the DOH Commissioner (see attached) requesting these guidelines be issued by April 15th to give schools and colleges ample time to work with local public health officials to safely plan for these events.

“Walking across a stage to accept your high school and college diploma as your family and friends cheer you on is a rite of passage and a special memory that’s part of growing up and moving on to the next stage in our lives. As we take the next steps to win the war against the coronavirus and safely reopen New York State, I am hopeful that the state can quickly provide our schools and colleges with the safety guidelines and protocols they need to carefully plan for in-person graduation ceremonies and other important end-of-the-school-year events that are major milestones in people’s lives,” said Senator Jim Tedisco, who graduated from Union College, and earned a master’s degree in special education from the College of St. Rose, served as a former teacher, guidance counselor, athletic director and coach.