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Reverse parade in Austin

Jordyn Reed
Updated: May 22, 2020 10:42 PM
Created: May 22, 2020 09:25 PM

(ABC 6 News) - There have been many parades held during the pandemic, but not many reverse parades. IJ Holton Intermediate School and Ellis Middle School came together to hold one for students to see their teachers.

Schools would usually be saying their goodbyes for summer this time of year, but with classes moved online, the reverse parade was one way of closure for not only the students, but the staff as well. 

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"We miss our students so much and we've heard it and we know that they miss us so we wanted to create an opportunity for them to come to say hello. It's hard for us to be away so we certainly wanted to provide that chance for them to come to see us,” Ryan Barnick, Ellis Middle School assistant principal, said. 

The two middle schools had parades before this, driving by student homes, but this was different. 
 
“This is as much about the staff as it is about the students,” Dan Urlick, a mental health practitioner in the Austin School District, said. “When you have a sudden separation like that after you've been building relationships all year it can be really difficult on us as well. We've been just clawing to see our students and this has just been a great opportunity to do before school is out for the year.” 
 
With a large line of students in their cars, holding signs, waving, and some even riding with their dogs, the teachers were excited to see such a huge response to the parade. IJ Holton teacher and student council advisor Cori McRae did not expect such a large turnout. 
 
“I'm always crying on the last day of school so for me this is kind of my end, this is my good-bye to them and it's a really hard good-bye because we can't even hug them,” McRae said. “That’s why my sign is absolutely perfect because I just really need a hug and I want a hug from them, I want a hug from my colleagues and I can't have any of it.”


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