MHS Prom Canceled

Staff Writer

The 2019-20 school year has now officially come to a close with the cancellation of Memorial High School prom. MHS Principal Jon Burke posted a video to the school’s Facebook page announcing the cancellation.

“We have to officially cancel prom,” he said in the video. “We’ve been trying to think a little creatively to be able to do something but to the seniors, I really feel bad for you and so it hurts me to make this official announcement that we have to do it. 

“The truth is, there's nothing that we can organize as a school that's going to be within the social distancing guidelines or without creating a mass gathering situation, so there's nothing that we're going to be able to organize.”

School officials were holding out hope that prom would be able to be held sometime this month after schools were shuttered by Gov. Mike DeWine as a response to the novel coronavirus. The annual dance is normally held in April, when the state was under a stay-at-home order, and was the last event still on the schedule for the school year.

Now that prom is not going to happen, the year is over.

“This doesn't feel like the end of the school year,” Burke said in the video. “I feel like we're ending the summer and we should be heading into August and getting ready for a new school year because we haven't seen each other in so long and I never really got an official goodbye to my student body and so I guess this is it. It doesn't feel right feels weird, but I guess that's what it is.”

Before signing off the video, Burke addressed the coming school year but said he is unsure exactly what that school year will look like. 

During Tuesday afternoon’s press conference, DeWine said he is still working with school representatives and superintendents to decide how health requirements such as sanitation and social distancing will be enforced. 

“The goal is to have kids back in the classroom,” the governor said Tuesday. “The date for starting school is solely within the power of the local school board and is not something we have any intention of impacting.”

With more than 600 separate school districts in the state of Ohio, the governor said it would “very hard” to come to an agreement that all would meet the needs and situations of each district. Discussions are continuing between DeWine and school district leaders to come up with a broad-reaching set of guidelines which are expected to be released soon. 

“I'll try to keep everybody up to date through July and into early August,” said Burke. “We'll see what that looks like and we'll see what the virus situation looks like in the fall, but in the meantime, take care and have a great summer.”