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I just wanted a normal senior year, like the rest of the Class of 2020

‘We’re missing out on the last weeks of schools, and we won’t get to celebrate with our friends and families. The pandemic will be what people remember — not our hard work and success.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot dances on TikTok to announce the city’s virtual high school graduation.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot dances on TikTok to announce the city’s virtual high school graduation.

Like high school seniors across the country, I’m disappointed and sad that I don’t have the chance to complete my senior year with my classmates and teachers.

The novel “fun” of being at home has ended. I would rather be at school, doing what most seniors do during the final weeks of high school. Our class will miss out on college signing night, a scavenger hunt downtown, senior night and prom. I’m sad to miss these moments, since the few friends I have are going to be moving away to school outside Chicago. I honestly just wanted a normal senior year.

Graduation is something we look forward to, and it feels like others don’t understand its importance to us. The Class of 2020 won’t get to celebrate with our friends and families. Unfortunately, the pandemic will be what people remember — not our hard work and success.

During this time, internet access is super important. It allows us to stay connected, learn outside the classroom, and, when possible, celebrate with our classmates.

The mayor has announced that we’re having a citywide “virtual” graduation, but people who don’t have internet access will feel very disconnected, not able to attend something meant to help them feel appreciated. Internet access is important, for this event in particular and also in general.

Evelyn Mendoza, Back of the Yards

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A fifth star for Chicago’s flag is a waste

I find it interesting that with everything that is going on with COVID-19, Mayor Lightfoot and others are considering adding another star to the Chicago flag. How much will that cost? Are there not better uses for funds? Helping to save lives and livelihoods comes immediately to mind.

A better response would be to say, “What a nice, uplifting idea, but this is not a financially responsible decision so we will not do it now or any time in the near future.”

Please mayor, ask yourself, if you were starving and/or could not pay your mortgage or rent, would you really care about another star on the flag?

John Farrell, DeKalb

Respect the community — wear a mask

Not long ago, people could smoke cigarettes everywhere — in restaurants, movie theaters, airplanes, even hospitals. Then it was proven that second-hand smoke is as bad as smoking. Cigarette smoking is now restricted in public because the individual’s right to smoke was trumped by the community’s right not to breathe second-hand smoke.

Now we find ourselves in a similar situation. Not wearing a mask puts everyone at risk of catching a deadly disease. Once again, the rights of an individual to not wear a mask must be trumped by the community’s right to not be infected.

Please, look beyond your own nose and wear a mask. The life you save could be that of someone you love.

Joan Van Den Bosch, Chicago

Draining the swamp of IGs

When Trump campaigned on the pledge to ‘drain the swamp,’ many low-information voters, suspicious of all government, voted him in to do just that.

Now, after firing five inspectors general since March, we’ve learned that meant draining the swamp ... of the swamp drainers.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn