High school lights up football field to honor class of 2020

LOS ANGELES -- On the football field where graduation ceremonies once took place, the school staff at Montebello High School in California instead honored their senior class of 2020 with a special live stream.

The staff turned on the football field lights, placed a setup on the 20-yard line with graduation caps and a sign, had the scoreboard read 2020, and shared all of this with students by streaming it live on Instagram for 20 minutes at 8:20 p.m. - which is 20:20 in military time.

"Even though we're distant, even though we're not together, we want to make sure that all of our students know that they are in our hearts," said Esperanza Guzman, assistant principal at Montebello High.

"It was very heartwarming to see that they took the time to do that," said Kirby Guerrero, a senior at Montebello High. "It was probably most beautiful to see the field lit up beautifully."

Many of the students are the first in their family to graduate high school, according to Guzman, who further expressed that with their commencement postponed because of the coronavirus, school officials are happy they did something for the seniors.

"I'm a first-generation student, so it would have been nice for my parents to have seen me walk that stage in the springtime," said Seleney Orozco, a senior at Montebello High. "But as long as I get my graduation, you know, I'm staying positive."

More than 500 seniors at Montebello High will graduate this year, according to the assistant principal.

"We particularly are heartbroken right now for the class of 2020 that are missing out in a lot of things," said Guzman. "A lot of those things that are so meaningful during 12th grade, and we are together with them, we love them."