The typical high school graduation isn't going to happen in El Paso this year, and certainly not at the Don.

The state announced Tuesday (5/5), in order to protect Texas communities from COVID-19, schools cannot hold indoor graduation ceremonies. That means the years-long tradition of high school seniors walking the stage at the Don Haskins Center will suffer the same fate every holiday and personal milestone that is usually celebrated with friends and family has suffered in the coronavirus era we’re living in.

Only four types of commencement ceremonies are being allowed this year: virtual, vehicle, hybrid, or outdoor.

A hybrid graduation would consist of seniors receiving their diplomas one at a time, having a video or photo taken and then compiling the videos and/or photos into a virtual ceremony. Vehicle ceremonies could be either drive-in graduations or car parades along a designated route.

The directive means El Paso, Socorro, Canutillo and Clint ISD, which had all recently announced June and July dates for ceremonies at the Don, will have to go back to the drawing board. They're all currently reviewing their options and will announce their new plans as soon as the TEA reviews them and gives them the go-ahead.

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