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Three high school seniors are suing New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials claiming they have “a constitutional right to assemble” for their public graduation ceremony, which was called off as a result of novel coronavirus concerns, according to a report and one of the students.
The trio of Toms River High School East seniors and several other Toms River businesses, including a golf store, two salons and a car wash, are asking a judge to allow them to open up shop and get back to work and for the girls, to be able to celebrate with the traditional public ceremony, according to an Asbury Park Press report.
“We feel that it’s unfair to allow our jersey shore beaches to open and the hotels and the businesses, but it’s an automatic no for the graduation ceremony. We have proof that we can socially distance at these ceremonies,” Gina DiPasquale, one of the teens involved in the lawsuit, told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday. “So, if we can do this at the beach, the hotels, or whatever it is, we can do it at graduation.”
A spokesperson for Murphy's office declined to comment on the pending litigation.
New Jersey has reported the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases, The Garden State has reported at least 148,240 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday. The three seniors claim that the students “have a constitutional right to assemble" and "have earned the right to choose a socially distanced, formal graduation ceremony," according to the Asbury Park Press report.
As of Tuesday, DiPasquale said they had still not heard from state officials.
DiPasquale said she believed she and her classmates “deserve a proper goodbye to the last 12 years that we’ve put into this.”