Students should be allowed to walk the stage at high school and college graduations this year, State Senator Jim Tedisco on Friday said. 

In a statement, Tedisco urged the Department of Health to issue the guidelines for schools and colleges to hold the ceremonies as vaccination rates continue to rise.

"Walking across a stage to accept your high school and college diploma as your family and friends cheer you on is a rite of passage and a special memory that’s part of growing up and moving on to the next stage in our lives," Tedisco said. "As we take the next steps to win the war against the coronavirus and safely reopen New York State, I am hopeful that the state can quickly provide our schools and colleges with the safety guidelines and protocols they need to carefully plan for in-person graduation ceremonies and other important end-of-the-school-year events that are major milestones in people’s lives."

Tedisco, in a letter to Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, called for the regulations to be issued by April 15 so schools and colleges have the time to develop a safety plan to hold the events later in the spring.