Missouri Governor Not Only Allows Graduation, But Will Speak

May 21, 2020

Credit St. Louis Public Radio

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — In a year when many states are prohibiting in-person graduation ceremonies due to the coronavirus, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is not only allowing them, but will speak at one.

The Republican governor has a special bond with the indoor ceremony Thursday night at Sparta High School in southwestern Missouri: His granddaughter is among the 42 seniors receiving diplomas.

Missouri reopened after the pandemic-forced shutdown on May 4, and Parson was among the few governors allowing large-scale gatherings, including graduation ceremonies. Sparta's superintendent says attendance will be limited, and families will be spaced apart from each other in the approximately 2,000-seat gym. Masks are not required.