WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A video published on Twitter late Monday night shows a large group of young people gathered in clear violation of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s social distancing order.
Mason City Schools confirmed Tuesday the people in the incident are Mason High School seniors.
FOX19 NOW has attached a blurred version of the video as one or several of the students could be minors.
The video shows several dozen students cavorting in close proximity at the school’s football stadium.
The tweet from @averylizwilson reads: “Mason High School never disappoints. You all are the reason why so many people are dying and so many people will continue to die. I don’t think a high school diploma comes with so much ignorance and irresponsibility. Stay inside like the rest of us.”
DeWine’s social distancing order extends through May 1 in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has killed 176,000 worldwide and nearly 45,000 in the United States while precipitating a catastrophic economic shutdown.
A statement from Mason City Schools says the incident resulted from an attempt to honor the Class of 2020, as schools around the country have done, by turning on the lights in its stadium at 8:20 p.m.
Many students remained home, the district explained.
“However, we learned a lesson after seeing pictures and videos that showed some seniors gathering without physical distancing,” it said.
The Mason Police Department confirms it received a call about the ruckus at 9:07 p.m. They responded, and the scene was clear by 9:30 p.m.
The district says students were "were very respectful to law enforcement officers, and several apologized.”
No citations were issued, police say.
“We recognize that our students are craving connection,” the district said. "There is no doubt that social distancing is hard for many of our teens and children. We also now better understand how even events that are intended to honor students from afar could unintentionally tempt them to violate the state’s orders that protect Ohioans.
"We will apply lessons from this situation as we consider other ways to honor students. We ask for your support in helping our children and teens socialize safely.