Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker offered a message of encouragement for graduating high school seniors Friday as he announced schools will be closed statewide for the remainder of the school year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
At his daily coronavirus press briefing Friday afternoon, Gov. Pritzker said the decision to cancel in-person instruction for remainder of the school year wasn't made lightly, but saving lives must be the top priority.
In his message to seniors, Gov. Pritzker acknowledged that students are feeling sad about "missing the rituals of senior prom, senior pranks, senior nights, and of course, graduation."
"Hear it from me, as your governor: there’s room for you to feel all the things, big and small," he added. "You will get through this, you will talk about this for the rest of your lives, and you will go on to do amazing things. I’m so proud of you."
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Gov. Pritzker also thanked teachers, administrators and parents who've remained focused on helping children during the pandemic.