Minnesota essentially banned large-scale high school and college graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 on Friday to limit the spread of the coronavirus, dashing the spirits of students who had been holding out hope for traditional pomp and circumstance. The Minnesota Department of Education and the Office of Higher Education issued guidance saying indoor graduations and ceremonies held outside in stadiums and on football fields are not permitted. The agencies are encouraging schools to hold online events instead. Gov. Tim Walz, a former high school teacher, called it a painful decision but said he said he must rely on what the health experts are telling him. The guidance also lists steps for schools to take if they decide to celebrate with car parades or parking lot ceremonies. Events should be brief, without food, beverages or bathrooms. And graduates should not throw their caps in the air because that might encourage them to leave their vehicles.

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