Student Thoughts on the Opening of Green Hope

Student+Thoughts+on+the+Opening+of+Green+Hope

Mason Barish and Samir Tusneem

Just recently, the Wake County Public Schools System announced that high schoolers will not be returning back to school for the rest of the fall semester. This has provided a sigh of relief for many, but also a bitter-sweet response from others. As much as everyone would like to go back to school, it is evident that it may not be the best idea to do so with the number of COVID cases that are still being produced daily. Prior to the announcement, we were able to gather some of the opinions students have about the previous plan to reopen mid-October. Out of a survey of about 100 students, 68% were against returning to school in October, while the other 32% were in favor of doing so.

Anonymously, we received many great responses with reasoning as to why they chose and believed what they said, and this is what it mostly boiled down to:

 

What are the reasons for school reopening?

  • “Online school is much harder on those who can’t stay focused as easily due to medical reasons.”

 

  • “While online, there are a lot of mental health issues for some due to social deprivation and the inability to talk face to face with friends and peers.”

 

  • “Screens can also strain your eyes and hurt them if you stare for a prolonged period of time.”

 

  • “Benefits students who rely on school for meals and other nutritional needs.”

 

  • “Creates a safe and secure learning environment for all involved where fewer people are anxious about speaking up and asking questions.”

 

  • “Eliminates the many distractions that cannot be facilitated while learning online.”

 

What are the reasons for schools not reopening?

  • “COVID-19 is very present and real, and if kids do get it, it would spread like wildfire throughout the school, even if one person doesn’t wear a mask, it could have repercussions for the rest of the school which could lead to people getting extremely sick.”

 

  • “If students get COVID-19, they may take it home and pass it on to the people more vulnerable to it such as parents or grandparents. It would be a very high-risk solution to the issues with online education.”

 

Now that we’ve cleared this out of the way, what might school look like in the case that school really does reopen? A good guess would probably include these two things that have been present as COVID-19 procedure since the start of the virus: 6 feet distancing, and mandatory face masks in school. Though, in a classroom, it would probably look akin to a test layout in which all the desks are spaced out properly and classes will be more scarce, with a mixed learning schedule where the students go one week in class and two weeks online. It will definitely be an adjustment if school reopens, one that people may quickly have to adapt to.

There have been many other schools around the country that have reopened with great emphasis on following precautions to keep students safe. However, these protocols were certainly not enough for some of these schools. For example, high schools such as Cardinal Gibbons have reopened but were met with a series of COVID clusters, forcing them to reclose. Furthermore, a number of Universities within North Carolina have been met with Greek Life causing widespread of the virus around campus. Hopefully, Wake County decides that the best plan is what keeps everyone safe.