Framingham High School students graduate together as loved ones look on virtually

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Framingham High School capped their commencement Wednesday with students on the football field but no loved ones in the stands to cheer them on.

Hundreds of graduates received their diplomas and turned their tassels together in person — a sight many are not used to seeing in these uncertain times. But, family and teachers had to watch the students graduate virtually.

“It’s kinda scary to graduate without my parents or teachers,” graduate Joel Cotagarcia said. “It’s kinda really weird.”

Coronavirus threw a wrench in the school’s original plan but, earlier in the week, school officials sent a video message to students letting them know they would be able to graduate outdoors after all.

However, families and friends were not allowed.

The superintendent released a statement about the decision reading:

“Though schools continue to be exempt from large gathering restrictions, we reduced the number of attendees at the 2020 commencement upon the recommendation of the Framingham Department of Public Health…”

The director of the local DPH told 7NEWS:

“Similar to the state’s numbers, Framingham has been experiencing small upticks in COVID cases recently. The governor also revised the Gathering Order last Friday. With these developments, we recommended our public schools to scale back the size of the graduation ceremony.”

Graduate Anthony McCann said he was disappointed his family could not see him receive his diploma.

His grandfather Omar Gomez said his entire family wanted to be here. But if they couldn’t be, they were going to make sure Anthony didn’t miss out.

“His first reaction when he told me about it was that he wasn’t coming,” Gomez said “And I texted him back and said yes you are. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I need you to be there. I want you to have it.”

While it was not a typical graduation ceremony, 2020 is certainly not a typical year.

But, one thing COVID-19 could not take away from these students is their proud families excited to see what is to come.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)