WASHINGTON TWP. N.J. (CBS) — Graduating seniors in one South Jersey town are protesting their lack of an in-person commencement ceremony. So Tuesday night, two dozen Washington Township High School students held their own service and even went through some typical graduation traditions.
Only virtual graduations are permitted currently in the Garden State, at least until July 6, but Washington Township High School seniors had their own idea.READ MORE: Police Asking For Public's Help In Obtaining Cellphone Video Of July 4 Parkway Shooting That Injured 2 Officers
It wasn’t how the class of 2020 planned on celebrating their graduation.
But Washington Township seniors came together Tuesday evening to peacefully protest against the restrictions placed on in-person graduations.
They even had a commencement speaker.
“The good news is that I am the only speaker that you had to listen to and my speech is short,” the speaker said.
About two dozen seniors out of about 500 walked through Washington Lake Park.READ MORE: Kyle Schwarber Homers Twice, Phillies Still Fall To Nationals 3-2
Even though the graduation was held before the permitted date, the seniors mostly followed Gov. Phil Murphy’s mandates, however, only a handful wore masks.
Families were spread out six feet apart, the ceremony was brief and it was held outside.
Murphy discouraged the throwing of caps, but seniors wanted to participate in the tradition.
Seniors say it wasn’t the graduation they were expecting but they’re happy they had some sort of closure.
“It’s still kind of weird, the ceremony’s different but I’m glad I had it. I may not get the chance to do a normal graduation so at least I’ve had this,” graduating senior Anthony Fuscellaro said.
“I think the class of 2020 is one of the most persevering classes because of all that we’ve been through. We’re still here together at the end,” said Rhett Barnes.MORE NEWS: Sergio Diggs, Philadelphia Police Officer Shot On Parkway, Recalls Fourth Of July Incident
CBS3 reached out to the governor’s office but did not receive a response.