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Belle Chasse High School grads get a unique send-off after school closes for coronavirus

For these seniors, honking and dancing in a parking lot can go a long way.

BELLE CHASSE, La. — If birds of a feather flock together, then Belle Chasse Cardinals are connected for life. The senior class never got to spread its wings because senior year came to a sudden halt.

“Not having that closure was really rough. It’s been very difficult, just not knowing what’s going to happen,” said senior and valedictorian Corinne Babin.

Tuesday afternoon about a hundred teachers and staff took action. With costumes, decorations and a socially distanced parking lot, seniors were invited for a Cardinal fly-by, one last chance to say and wave goodbye to the teachers who helped prepare them for flight.

“We just all of a sudden couldn’t come see them anymore but this makes it better to where we actually get a goodbye,” said one senior.

Those goodbyes began with hellos from principal Jemi Carlone, who came up with the idea and greeted seniors as they drove up.

“We spend twelve hours yesterday trying to make the balloon arch and we were here to 9:00 at night and so, we wanted it to be special,” said Carlone.

The flight down memory lane, began with freshman year teachers, building up to senior year teachers, where James Richards was waiting in cap and gown.

“It’s tough for them. I handle graduation. I do all the senior stuff, so I interact with them daily on all the fun things for seniors to do in their last year and it’s kind of a sucky way to go out,” said Richards.

For these seniors, honking and dancing in a parking lot can go a long way. 

“It’s amazing they came out here and did all this for us,” said senior Devon Everle.

“Our staff here is amazing and for them to just pull this off for us, knowing it’s difficult times, it’s amazing and I love all of them,” said senior A’Miaha Doucette.

“I’ve only been here for like two years, but it kind of hit me hard seeing all these people because at my old school, they cared about you, but this is kind of different,” said senior Charlie Burt.

“I was very thrilled. It was very fun, I enjoyed it. It was well needed,” said senior Caleb Ellis.

Needed in a time when community means more than ever. After the cardinal fly-by, teachers had another surprise. They went to the homes of all those seniors to hand-deliver “Class of 2020” yard signs.

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