CHICAGO (CBS) — Students and parents in Elgin were planning a car parade past the high school to celebrate graduating seniors, but the school told them to take their honk and circumstance somewhere else.

Cheering, claps and a parade of cars is what celebrations in the age of COVID-19 look like. It’s how teachers at Barrington’s Grove Elementary School safely said goodbye to their students for the summer.

It’s the kind of celebration students, parents and some teachers at South Elgin High School were looking for to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2020.

“I feel cheated out of graduation,” said graduating high school senior Jonathan Block. “It’s just really upsetting that the whole school and school district is not supporting the parade.”

“It’s just the fact that they won’t try and do anything,” said senior Gurnoor Randhawa. “That’s what frustrating me.”

The plan was to meet at a nearby empty parking lot and ride over to the high school for one last goodbye‚ but the school won’t let that happen on its property.

Every time we try and message the school it just gets shot down,” said senior Haley Spane.

Haley and her mom Michele are upset at the district’s reasoning for not supporting the parade.

“The kids feel like they are in limbo,” said Michele. They are left hanging like the school and district doesn’t care about them.”

In a letter the school says they explored options on how to safely celebrate these seniors, settling on a virtual graduation because the county health department advises against in-person gatherings, so the school wont get behind Saturday’s car parade.

“We want to do a parade. It’s not that big of a deal,” said Michele.

“It’s sad we wont be getting an ending,” said Gurnoor.

“It’s heartbreaking. You are at a school for four years, and they can’t even give you a good sendoff to your next journey,” said Jonathan. 

Parents scrambled to make sure these kids were not let down. They have planned a parade away from the school Saturday morning.

Charlie De Mar