Carlsbad graduation sparks health concerns among locals

Coronavirus New Mexico

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – It wasn’t the graduation they were imagining, but a group of Carlsbad seniors got a chance to walk the stage to get their diplomas Thursday. However, someone was trying to stop the ceremony from happening altogether, citing coronavirus concerns.

A Jefferson Montessori Academy parent said the plan was to have a normal graduation as possible, but with restrictions in place to keep everyone safe. However, someone in the community didn’t think they were doing enough.

Thursday afternoon, eleven Jefferson Montessori seniors got a chance to celebrate their graduation with a ceremony. Many of the students and staff were wearing masks and attendees were spaced apart to ensure social distancing.

Nita Montgomery-Clary says a few days before the ceremony, someone called the principal to complain about the school not following the health code, by allowing the graduation to continue. As a mother of one of the graduating students, she was hurt someone wanted to try to take away her daughter’s big day. “You have the protests going on with thousands and thousands of people, shoulder to shoulder, and that’s okay, but it’s not okay for us to graduate 11 graduates?” she says.

Montgomery-Clary says that complaint led to a New Mexico State Police officer showing up to the graduation. However, she says that the officer stayed and watched the entire thing and did not intervene. She also says the complaint surprises her because there have been some protests in the city with people not practicing social distancing or wearing masks, without any complaints.

NMSP says none of their officers attended the graduation in an official capacity. They also did not tell us if they received any complaints about the ceremony.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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