On a hot Friday afternoon in Woodland Hills, close to 70 teachers from Taft High wearing masks stood in front of their cars waving, cheering and honoring the class of 2020 in a distinctly California car culture parade.
Students and their parents were handed yard signs as they stayed inside their cars, then proceeded on a campus parade route, driving past teachers as music blared from loud speakers positioned along an alley that leads past the gym.
“I love it,” volleyball coach Arman Mercado said. “It’s some way to get our seniors in touch with their school.”
Assistant principal Neezer McNab said the car parade was a way to “celebrate our seniors. They didn’t have anything to do with the pandemic, so we want to make sure they get recognition.”
With on campus graduation ceremonies canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade gave teachers and their students one last opportunity to see each other after weeks of being separated.
Safety rules were in effect, with masks being worn by those inside and outside cars.
“I think it’s great,” said Brittany Drucker, a math teacher. “They get a chance to see us and we get to see them.”
Car parades are growing in popularity as a way to safely recognize teachers and students while social-distancing measures are in place. Athletes have organized car caravans to honor coaches, and Taft utilized the idea to honor its entire class of nearly 500 seniors, inviting them to drop by campus to pick up a senior sign.
They were alerted by emails and social media to come between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday.
Things have been bleak but this is something to smile about. Only in California. It’s a Taft High graduation car parade with masks, music, signs and smiles. pic.twitter.com/8Ys5TFrewc— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) May 8, 2020
Teachers were dancing to the music and students in their cars seemed impressed based on their smiles.