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Rosebud-Lott High School seniors learning virtually excluded from senior trip

Posted at 2:45 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 15:45:33-04

Rosebud-Lott High School seniors and parents are upset after they were told students could not participate in their senior trip if they continue learning virtually.

"It only happens once in your life so it's like I don't want to miss that because I made a choice to go online," said senior Katelyn.

It's no secret the coronavrius pandemic did a 180 to the education system. In the spring, seniors had their year cut short. Now in the fall, some of this year's senior class are facing even more challenges.

"I was hoping the pandemic would end by my senior year but that was not realistic and so now here I am not getting my senior trip and possibly not my prom," said senior Shade Steele.

Only 10 out of about 50 Rosebud-Lott High School seniors are learning remotely. Some seniors say they do not feel comfortable and others say they do want to risk taking the virus home to their family with underlying health conditions.

Recently, Rosebud-Lott High School reached out to the students learning virtually. Students say they were told by their principal that if they did not return to school by the third six weeks, the senior trip and possibly prom are off limits.

"My principal messaged me saying that students who are doing online school are not allowed to go to prom possibly or the senior trip and I don't think that is fair," said Steele.

Nita Andrews says her daughter Katelyn did not feel safe on campus and should not face consequences for making that choice.

"Why would they give them that choice but then punish them for making that choice, " said concerned parent, Nita Andrews.

The Superintendent says both the senior trip and prom fall under extracurricular activities. He says parents received a letter stating students who chose virtual learning would not be eligible to participate.

"If you are hesitant to be in a face to face basis and putting yourself in a situation where you will see students from other counties, then if you want to participate you need to be face to face," said Superintendent Dr. Jim Rosebrock.

He says they are doing all they can to keep students safe from COVID-19 and respect the decision made by those who want to stay home.

"If they choose to be remote, we respect that but it does not mean they can get everything they want. There are things we have to hold a line on and this is one of them," Dr. Rosebrock said.

Parents argue the senior trip and prom are once in a lifetime.

"They should be following guidelines when they go on these trips so I don't see why they are punishing the children staying home and doing their classes online," said Andrews.

"I've worked so hard and for them to do this to me, I feel so robbed and wronged by it," said Steele.

Seniors remain hopeful their school will make an exception, giving them a chance at a full senior year experience.

Dr. Rosebrock says the school district will be voting on the senior trip plans this month. He adds that students are only being asked if they will return to in person learning by the third six weeks in order to be counted in the trip.