I have an idea that I wanted to pass along to everyone in the hopes that you can relay it to the Floyd County School Board for consideration.

If the coronavirus social distancing protocols are still in place on May 23, (graduation ceremonies), how about staging the graduates in the Marriott parking lot and have the kids walk across the pedestrian bridge and receive their diplomas at the halfway point on the bridge.

Parents and families can stage on the other side to greet their children as they exit the bridge. This would allow everyone to celebrate their achievements and would definitely be a unique and memorable experience. Everybody has walked across a stage, it’d be neat for the graduates to be able to say I walked across a river. The only wrinkle in this idea that I can think of is we may need a sound system and good weather to pull it off.

I went down to the bridge the other day and it looks like it would be best for the kids to line up behind the Marriott hotel and walk across to the Forum. There is ample room and parking on both sides of the river and the ground in the Forum side is level, with even a few benches by the fountain. There is also power at both of the pull-offs on the bridge for a PA — or even a bullhorn would work.

I believe this would easily work for all four county schools, each school could tie school-colored balloons to the bridge — not a lot, but some, and I think this might just become standard for graduations in the future.

As my daughter Victoria (an Armuchee High School senior) has said, I didn’t go to school for 12 years to have my diploma mailed to me!

Please consider this and pass it along to the school board members.

Richard Merritt


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