With the second semester quickly approaching students share concerns on how we will return. Some students see the benefits of our return, but others see it causing more harm than anything.
Academic achievement and Emotional Support appear to be good reasons for our return, but many students disagree. Even if we go to school more frequently we will still struggle mentally and emotionally considering that we are surviving a global pandemic. With the necessary covid precautions being taken; social distancing, reduction of students in class, masks, and other safety procedures, it is very hard for students to feel a sense of normalcy. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html)
You may also counter that there are students who are starving and in abusive homes. This is a true and heartbreaking statement, however, there is a line. There is a line between what the school has power to control and what is part of a bigger issue that requires bigger means.
Another conversation needs to be started about the amount of poverty and abuse that occurs within our small town. The school provides food and safety for children in need every day. There comes a point where our staff cannot be held responsible for the home lives of our students.
While social and emotional interaction is important, we still must find a way to ensure that our education continues. This is something that has been navigated with technology, both at home and at school students use their devices to complete their school work. When at-home students are challenged with the task of creating their own schedules, which in the end has caused their grades to fluctuate.
Many of the joys of school have been stripped away such as; homecoming, prom, field trips, senior privileges, and many others. Students look forward to coming to school because these experiences make being at a desk all day worthwhile.
Considering this, students are doing the best they can with what they are given and what they are feeling. Students are devastated about missing these coming of age experiences, and are struggling to find motivation to complete schoolwork. Even if students were to not have any of these high school joys, there is very little to do outside of our homes. During a pandemic, students should not have to be held to the same expectation as years before. Students are grieving the loss of their social lives.
Education is essential and should be occurring, but that should not come at the expense of putting other people's lives in jeopardy. Even while homebound, some students are still throwing parties of 30 plus people on a regular basis. Since January of 2020 the United States has surpassed 400,000 deaths. In Franklin County alone we have had over 3,000 cases and 34 deaths. Families still go out and have their vacations without thinking about the wellbeing of others. People selfishly wait until it deeply affects their lives to take this seriously, our school should never be a place where this occurs.
I and many others believe that going back to school next semester is extremely dangerous and will do more harm to students' mental and physical health than good.