Debate On Whether To Return To School Continues


The world has been dealing with a global pandemic for about nine months, and students have been dealing with online school for around five months, seems unbelievable, but it is reality.

From the start of this craziness, millions of students were thinking ‘oh yeah man, online school is gonna be a breeze.’ But, they were sadly mistaken.

Online school, as easy as it sounds, can be something super frustrating and difficult especially for students who never have had to deal with it. 

It sounds easy because you think video chats with teachers are easy, less assignments, and more free time, but that is not the case.

Assignments get piled up, you lose track of time, procrastinate, and have to put other things before school, all these things are a cause of grades being dropped and failing.

With hearing millions and millions of students having a hard time with online classes and deep into the pandemic, the idea of school opening back up has been floating around. 

There have been rumors going around where we might be going back sometime in February or how we were supposed to be back into school way long ago.

There are some students who believe that their safety, the safety of teachers, staff and other students is way more important than sitting in a classroom when we can do school in the comfort of our own homes.

However, there are others who think ‘screw it.’ They don’t care if they have to wear a mask 24/7 or sit six feet away from everyone, they want to be put back into the classroom! 

“Well I personally believe that schools reopening again is a good idea because there are so many students who need that one on one help and who need to learn visually,” stated senior Lizbeth Arroyo. “There are plenty of students who do not get help at home from their parents or guardians and it can be hard to learn or understand the lessons.

“I can’t really speak for all students and teachers, but I feel like just like everyone else, everyone is trying to avoid getting the virus. Students and teachers want to feel like they are going to be safe at school when they reopen them. I believe the teachers and students miss the way things were before, being able to see each other in person and learn all together in one classroom.”

Arroyo is a student who believes that although returning back to school comes with risks, she’ll take those risks if that means she and other students can go back to visual learning. 

Many students will agree with Arroyo that we’re all trying to avoid the virus, but dearly miss being in a classroom actually learning and not struggling to teach ourselves the lessons.

“In my opinion opening schools sounds great, but I wouldn’t believe it’s the best idea,” expressed senior Jennifer Cardona. “School is a place where you’re going to be around many people the majority of the time and that’s what we are trying to stay away from.

“Teachers and students would probably be relieved on returning to school considering that everyone is having a difficult time with distance learning. I would say the best way to keep everyone safe is to not go back to school, some people may not have the ability to keep distance.”

With new reports we are seeing with updates on the coronavirus we see how people are still out and about living their lives like everything is back to normal, when it is not.

People are still out partying in large groups, hanging out with new people, and not taking care of themselves properly. These things make it exceptionally difficult for the coronavirus cases to go down in the state and every other state.

“As of right now, I do not think it’s a good idea to reopen schools.” explained school counselor Mr. Florence. “Right now we’re seeing record high, daily COVID-19 infections. We’re talking 100,000 plus infections throughout the country! I think most students want schools to reopen. Some of the students that I have talked to aren’t adjusting well to distance learning.

“They’re feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and isolated. There are some students who are thriving with distance learning, and these are the students who would do well no matter the situation or circumstance. Teachers are split right down the middle.”

As Florence explained, cases are way too high for life to be going back to normal. If we return back to school we are putting ourselves around thousands of students and hundreds of teachers and staff everyday. It will be impossible to stay six feet away from each other at all times. 

“I think opening schools soon is a bad idea due to the fact that the virus is still going on and mostly no one will follow the guidelines to prevent from getting the virus,” said senior Alvaro Guzman. “I feel like students and teachers will feel weird due to the fact that we haven’t been to school in so long and we’d have to adapt to the guidelines and rules that they put for us.

“In order for everyone to stay safe, use face masks at all times, keep the social distance, and not have a lot of physical contact with people.”

Guzman voiced how difficult it will be when returning to school due to the fact some of us adjusted to doing online classes and haven’t been in a classroom in a long time.

If we were to return back to school  the majority of students would feel strange because in school, we’re physically close to other students and are not used to having our faces covered while simply learning, we’ve never had to experience trying to normally learn while fighting a global pandemic.

Teachers would have to stop group projects and assignments, the lunchroom will be closed, and students wouldn’t be able to enjoy hanging around friends during their lunch and breaks.

“My thoughts are mixed. Clearly we all need to return back to school for some normalcy, however, only when it is safe to do so! While we aren’t medical experts, we must rely on those who are,” stated principal Mr. Adams. “If I were to decide what’s more important, the health and safety of our students and staff or being in the building face-to-face for instruction, I’d pick the health and safety of our students and staff every time. 

“Once the health and safety concerns have been addressed, then I believe everyone will be relieved and will appreciate teaching and learning more in person. I have a lot of ideas, however, all principals will have to follow the district’s reopening implementation guide. I have already begun purchasing some masks for students and staff, as well as protective barriers to separate students and staff within the classrooms.”

It is safe to say that our own principal thinks as of now it wouldn’t be the greatest idea to return to school while our state cases are increasing by the hour.

It is comforting to know that he’d rather have teachers, students, and other staff safe rather than having them sit around, exposed to different people everyday.

“I think some want to go back, and some (like myself) don’t think it’s safe enough to go back to school,” stated Florence. “I think there are too many risks for exposure. Many teachers are older, and may have a pre-existing condition. Could you imagine if one of your teachers passed away after we reopened? Or a parent/grandparent, after exposure from one of their students?

“If the school board decides to reopen, we need rapid testing, temperature checks, daily sanitizing of the building, classrooms, etc., plexiglass in between teachers and students in every classroom, air sanitizing filtration system, and personal protection equipment distribution daily.” 

People don’t think about the fact that yeah you’re getting your education the way you are used to, but you’re returning back home to your parents, siblings and other family and potentially exposing them to the virus without knowing because the district is making you go back to school, acting like there isn’t a pandemic going on. 

Plexiglass, hand sanitizer, and air filtration systems are the best things we can get put into schools, but they can only do so much.

Everyone’s body is different and not everyone has the greatest immune system to help them stay safe from getting sick.

It sucks to say, but with the world we are living in now and the cases that are increasing we may not be returning to school anytime soon which may be for the better.

You always have to remember not only are you keeping yourself safe with learning at home, but you are keeping thousands of other families safe and sooner or later cases will go down and life will go back to normal, but for now we have to hold on tight and keep each other safe.