As states around the country announce plans to keep schools shuttered for the rest of the year, and signs begin to point in the same direction for New York - students are facing so much disappointment - especially the Class of 2020.

Dear Class of 2020,

First, we want you to know our hearts are breaking for you. It's not just that you're being denied the chance to walk across a stage, get your diploma, and put an official end to your high school careers, it's everything else you're missing. Your final spring sports season, your prom, your senior trip, and the pleasure of walking the halls of your high school as the 'big kids' of campus - having earned the familiarity with your teachers and school staff over the previous 3 and a half years.

We wish we could make it better for you. We assure you - from your parents, to your teachers, to your coaches, to your school's administration - we all just want to wave a magic wand and make this go away. When you're a parent, you just want to make it better - especially since you kids did nothing to deserve this. This isn't a consequence of a poor choice, this is just straight up awful for you.

We know nothing we do can give you this time back. Your school will try, your parents will postpone your parties, and try to give you a send-off when it's possible - we'll do the best we can - but we know. And we are so sorry. Know too, that if you want a prom in August, or a giant party in the summer, and this virus allows - we will make it happen.

Like everything terrible that happens, ultimately, you're going to be stronger for it. You'll share this experience collectively with your fellow graduates across the country. Like so much in your life, it will be an experience that shows you that you can get knocked down, you can face disappointment, and still rise. But right now, it sucks and it feels awful - and it's just fine to mourn and feel sad. We all do.

Finally, know we are so proud of you. We are proud of the grace you're taking all this with. We're so proud of everything you've accomplished this far, and we know you're going to go on to do great things. This moment in history is huge - for you, for all of us - and it will always be a part of your story. It's up to you to write the rest.

We love you.


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