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Missed prom, split graduation take a toll on Grand Blanc High School seniors

Graduates this spring already missed homecoming and Friday night football tailgates, among other milestones
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - Students across Michigan have missed out on a lot over the past year, as school districts have made some difficult decisions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Parents and students agreed with with some of those decision and some did not agree.

Grand Blanc High School recently decided there won’t be a prom this spring, honors night will be split into sessions and graduation will be divided into two sessions. Those decisions hit one senior like a ton of bricks.

Her mother is concerned for her daughter’s mental health and well-being.

Melissa Jablonski took a Zoom tour around the campus of Michigan State University. It’s one way her daughter Abby, who is a senior at Grand Blanc High School, is trying to move on from the past and look forward to the future.

Abby recently wrote a poignant email to her school principal with the following excerpt:

“I walked out of that building last March, and I haven’t set foot in it since then. And I was hoping to at least conclude my year through honors night, through prom, through graduation and have some semblance of an ending.”

Abby knows the tough decisions that administrators made within the last week have taken a major mental toll on her. She said it’s as if everything just got compounded with the adjustment to schedule changes, remote learning, in-person learning, no dances and no tailgating for Friday night football.

Melissa said there were no senior year milestones her daughter could look forward to except prom, graduation and honors night this spring -- and now those are not happening the way she had hoped. Abby’s family says she tries to be strong, but they are noticing she’s sad about the lost milestones and a split graduation.

Melissa said it hurts to see her daughter stressed and not being able to enjoy her senior year. But she also sees this past year as an opportunity for students like her daughter to persevere through whatever challenging times may lie ahead.

Grand Blanc Community Schools administrators say these decisions certainly were not made lightly and were made on behalf of both students and administration. However, the school is planning a cookout on the last day of class for seniors with food trucks, prizes and fun activities.

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