The Associated Press
Updated: May 03, 2020 11:32 AM
Created: May 03, 2020 11:28 AM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — High schools in New Mexico’s second largest city will conduct their graduations as drive-thru ceremonies, with graduates picking up their diplomas while in cars with family members.
Las Cruces Public Schools said processions for Class of 2020 graduates of six high schools will be scheduled May 21 and May 22 in parking lots at the Field of Dreams sports stadium.
Superintendent Karen Trujillo said the plan resulting from gatherings restrictions because of the coronavirus outbreak satisfies law enforcement officials and will give the graduates “a one of a kind celebration.”
The district said speeches and the pledge of allegiance will be prerecorded and then streamed at each ceremony’s designated start time.
Graduates then will dress in their cap and gown, decorate their vehicle and ride with up to four family members to the stadium.
Vehicles will stage in one parking lot before proceeding to another one where the principal will present graduation materials to the graduates.
In another coronavirus development, the New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday will hear arguments in a case related to state prisons and the pandemic.
The justices are hearing arguments on a request by the Law Offices of the Public Defender, ACLU of New Mexico and the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys Association for releases of inmates due to COVID-19 health risks in state prisons.
The hearing scheduld for 1:30 p.m. will be held largely remotely with four justices in the courtroom in Santa Fe but one justice and attorneys in the case participating by video.
The court said in a statement that in-person attendance will be strictly limited to comply with gathering restrictions and that courtroom seating will be configured to meet social distancing requirements.
The petition being considered by the court asks for the immediate release of those inmates at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, those within a year of release, and those held on infractions such as parole and probation violations.
The request goes beyond the releases already ordered by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in early April.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can lead to pneumonia or death.
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