School Board members got an earful Tuesday night from Stone Bridge High School seniors and their parents who are unhappy that the commencement ceremony for the school’s class of 2019 is scheduled for a Sunday morning.
The graduation ceremony was initially planned for Tuesday, June 11, but a scheduling conflict prompted school leaders to instead move it to 10 a.m. Sunday, June 9. Loudoun County has commencement ceremonies for 15 public high schools planned over three days, with as many as six ceremonies in one day.
But the 11 students, parents and church clergy who approached board members Tuesday night asked that they avoid school events on Sundays.
“Sunday is a day of rest,” said Denise Lansdell, who contacted 20 churches to let them know of the scheduling conflict between Sunday services and Stone Bridge’s commencement ceremony. “I respectfully urge the School Board to work creatively to serve all families of Loudoun County.”
Melissa Parkin, the organist at her church, said she’s torn between keeping the Sabbath day holy or attending her commencement ceremony. “My graduation has turned into a big conflict for me.”
Daniel Falrholm, a bishop at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said his congregation includes 40 high school students, many of whom volunteer to help put on the Sunday services. “Please reschedule this date so that my congregation, and people of other faiths that typically worship on Sundays, don’t have to choose between graduation and church.”
The School Board did not make any comments about the speakers’ requests or take any immediate action.