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Lakeland senior parents to protest on Tuesday

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | May 16, 2020 1:00 AM

Some pressing for grads to have option to sit outside cars at drive-in commencement ceremony

Some parents of Lakeland High School seniors are planning to protest at the school at noon on Tuesday to express the frustrations they're feeling around "arbitrary rules" regarding graduation.

The parents are pressing for grads to be able to sit outside their cars at a safe social distance during the drive-in commencement at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, which they feel would be easy for their school to do because of its relatively smaller size.

"Even if they have to be spaced 6 feet apart, in chairs, it may give them some sense of community and a semblance of normalcy at graduation," said Lakeland mom Taryn Thompson. "I just want our kids, who have already missed out on so much, to have the best graduation possible."

In a letter to Lakeland school officials, Thompson wrote that senior parents have been reaching out to the governor’s office, Idaho Department of Health, Panhandle Health District and State Board of Education, but keep getting the same response.

"The school board and school district have ultimate authority over our high school graduation ceremony," Thompson wrote. "If we have our graduates sitting outdoors, socially distanced during the drive-in ceremony at the fairgrounds, nobody is going to be arrested or cited and no action will be taken.”

She said the ultimate goal is for the seniors to sit together during the outdoor graduation ceremony at the fairgrounds.

Lakeland Senior High School is at 7006 Highway 53, Rathdrum.