Juniors get their rings before school closure begins

Maryland governor’s declaration changes ceremony’s attendance rules


Giovanni Rizzotti, Staff Writer

The Junior Ring Ceremony is an annual tradition at The John Carroll School. Every year, juniors get their rings, something that they have longed for for a very long time. This year the juniors received their ring on Thursday, March 12.

Normally, the ceremony is attended by juniors, administrators, faculty members, and family members.  However, this year was different.

For the first time, family members were not allowed to attend.

The on-going Coronavirus pandemic has left fear, worry, and anxiety in Americans and in people all over the world.

Just a few hours before the ring ceremony was set to begin, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference and announced new actions he would be putting in place to attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

The two most notable actions that Governor Hogan announced he was taking were the closing of schools from March 16-27 and the banning of any event with an attendance of 250 or higher.

This meant that immediate changes would have to be implemented for the ring ceremony.

With a junior class of approximately 180 students, adding families and friends in the church would cause the total number of people in the church to exceed the 250 number.

Because of Governor Hogan’s executive order, John Carroll administrators were forced to not allow parents and acquaintances to attend the Junior Ring ceremony, just a few hours before it was set to begin.

The decision was ultimately made to livestream the ceremony and mass on Facebook so that parents and other family members could see it.

Junior Class Moderator Kelly Smith said, “While there were certainly some feelings of disappointment among everyone, overall I am deeply proud of the class.  Their attitude was amazing, and they were still excited and proud to still be able to receive their rings . . .While we know they wish their families could have been physically present, they handled it maturely, and they were so proud to receive their JC rings.”

Junior Class Moderator Erik Fabriziani said, “Considering the circumstances, it was a great evening and far surpassed the expectations I had going into it with such a late change in plans.”

Junior Tommy Sukiennik said he did not agree with not allowing parents to go to the ceremony.

“The videography on Facebook was mediocre, and the atmosphere felt awkward without our parents. They could have actually limited it to one parent per student, but they decided to just have the students and the chaperones. I understand COVID-19 is a big issue, but we shouldn’t let that make our parents miss out on a literally once-in-a-lifetime event,” Tommy said.

Junior Jake Hopkins said he agreed with the decision. “It was definitely disappointing that the parents couldn’t be there in person, but the school did the right thing in making sure we got our rings while also following Governor Hogan’s rule.”  Junior Ashley Carrier said, “I think if the families were not going to be allowed, it shouldn’t have happened at all. I think that if they were going to postpone the dance, they should’ve postponed the ceremony as well.”

Junior Olivia Spring said, “I feel like if the parents paid for the rings, they should’ve been allowed to be there.”

Religion teacher Mr. Chris Deaver said,“I agree with the decision. However, it was difficult for me as both a teacher and a parent to keep from going anyway. I could have claimed that I was there as a chaperone, but that wouldn’t have been fair to the other parents who also could not attend. I was happy to be able to watch the Mass online.”

The ring ceremony was not the only ring-related event that was affected by events surrounding the Coronavirus.

The Ring Dance, another annual tradition at John Carroll, usually takes place within days of the ceremony to continue the celebration.

This year’s dance was supposed to take place on Saturday, March 14, just two days after the ceremony, but it was postponed. A new date for the Ring Dance has yet to be determined.

To the juniors, regarding the evening, Mr. Fabriziani would like to say, “We are so proud of you as a class. You showed all the best of what John Carroll represents.  You made your families and the entire John Carroll Community proud.”