Senior Prom and Graduation Were Canceled

John Krasinkski hosting Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish on a laptop screen during Some Good News
Artwork by Anthony Faust
John Krasinkski hosting Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish on a laptop screen during Some Good News

Two of the biggest rites of passage for high school kids are the senior prom and graduation. In the spring of 2020, one of the hardest decisions for school districts across the country was to cancel both events.

For some students, the cancellation of prom and graduation seemed like an unnecessary, cruel punishment, and a missed opportunity to celebrate everyone’s hard work and accomplishments. Students had been remote learning for the better part of the spring, and having an opportunity to celebrate would have meant a lot. But both events attract huge crowds, and that was a problem for policy makers.

Many seniors will forever be considered the Forgotten Class—those who didn’t get to celebrate the two biggest moments in their high school years. It was one of the most heartbreaking things that happened to our kids, another way that the pandemic ripped apart our youths’ social lives.

One of the bright sides of COVID-19 was the YouTube show that actor John Krasinski created, called Some Good News (SGN). It focused on highlighting good news at the time, with a bunch of cameos from big name celebrities, such as Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, and Martha Stewart. On April 17, Krasinski hosted a livestream virtual prom for all the kids who wouldn’t be able to attend their own proms. He had artists such as Billie Eilish and the Jonas Brothers play some of their music and had a live DJ playing music for the kids to enjoy, just like a regular prom.

A few days later, he did a graduation show for the kids who wouldn’t have otherwise had any ceremony to attend. Krasinski invited new graduates onto the show, who got to ask questions of his celebrity guests--Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, and Steven Spielberg. Talk about some great commencement speakers!

Was it the same as the real thing? No, it wasn’t. But they both were very touching and memorable videos that helped make the days of millions of people a little brighter. The show’s slogan was “No matter how bad it gets, there is still some good in the world”, and it was an extremely well-done show amid a very weird time. 

"This book will make you laugh and feel ALL the feelings."

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"One of the most delightful reads of this year! I highly recommend."

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"A great coffee table book. Easy to pick up read."

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"Funny and fun to read. What a fun way to put the pandemic in perspective."

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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