MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA) — A class of local high school seniors has sparked outrage after staging a graduation march in Manhattan Beach in violation of the county's public health order.
The march was meant to be a celebration with photos showing hundreds of Mira Costa High School students gathered in caps and gowns.
"I presented them to Manhattan Beach, and they flipped their tassels and tossed their caps," Deborah Hofreiter, retiring Mira Costa Vice Principal, said.
But the event, meant to mark the end of a very different school year, has since gathered national attention.
"We didn't know that they were not going to respect the COVID directions," Hofreiter said. "But, you know, they're kids."
The parent- and student-organized walk that started at Hermosa Pier and ended at Manhattan Beach followed the school-approved drive-up graduation ceremony.
"The kids were instructed to stay 6 feet apart and wear masks," Hofreiter said. "They're 18, they haven't seen their friends in three months, so they did none of that."
It was also said by users on social media that the group had pretended to be a Black Lives Matter march in an effort to circumvent health orders, but photos of the event do not support that claim.
"They were in no way pretending to be anything other than the class of 2020," Hofreiter said.
Organization guru Erin Condren, whose four children were part of the class of graduating seniors, helped organize the event. She took to Instagram to apologize for the event that some said was racially insensitive.
And other students who participated were sad that the celebration meant to honor their achievement was tarnished by controversy.
Meanwhile, the Manhattan Beach Police Department said it was aware that a large gathering took place in violation of the county's health order. However, police officials said they had no plans to cite anyone from the event or any other march, walk or gathering that has taken place in recent weeks.
for more features.