WACO, Texas — After Governor Greg Abott extended school closures until May 4th, Waco ISD decided it was best to cancel prom.
This was a hard thing to hear for 2020 seniors who were looking forward to it. Waco High School senior class president Hope Aguilar said the news didn't come as a surprise.
"A lot of us saw it coming but still it was disappointing and we're super sad about it, so I'm trying to be positive and I understand that our health and safety is most important, but I still am disappointed for our class that we aren't able to experience that like everyone else," Aguilar said.
Many other school events had been canceled, but Aguilar and her classmates were hoping they could still go to prom in May.
She said at after spring break they would have been in the planning stages, picking the food and decorations, but those plans were halted.
Executive director for communications at Waco ISD Joshua Wucher said the decision to cancel wasn't an easy one.
"We certainly feel terrible for our seniors. This is an event that's a rite of passage for our seniors and for teenagers that they look forward to for years," Wucher said. "Our prom planning committees have been working so hard and we feel just as terrible and we feel disappointed just as them."
If campuses re-opened May 4th, Wucher said that's after University High School's prom would have happened and the same week as Waco High School's prom. He said there wouldn't be enough time for planning.
"It's really tough not knowing when we will hit the curve and when we'll be in a little bit more of a safe environment, but ultimately we have to protect the health of our students, their friends, our staff and their families," Wucher said.
Some students had already bought prom dresses. Aguilar said though they're disappointed, they understand the circumstances. She several seniors still want to plan an event even if it's after graduation, but it may be too early to organize.
"I think I'm speaking for all of us when I say that our last semester being cut short has been really discouraging," Aguilar said. "I think prom was something we were all kind of hoping that we could still experience."
With everything going on in our world today, Aguilar wants to encourage her class of 2020 to stay positive, focus on their school work, and for everyone do what's needed to graduate.
"This is going to be a really memorable year even if it's not for the reasons that we wanted it to be, and I'm really hopeful that we'll be able to put something together and still celebrate," Aguilar said.
If campuses open May 4th, Wucher said the district plans to have graduation May 30th at the Waco ISD stadium. If they do, he said they will follow the necessary guidelines. If they don't open by then, they'll have to re-asses or find another way to celebrate 2020 seniors.
You can find the latest Waco ISD updates on their website.