Should schools stay in person during the pandemic?

Should schools stay in person during the pandemic?

As COVID-19 case numbers rise, more and more schools are shutting down in hopes of decreasing the amount of exposure to the virus. While this may be a good idea to control the spread of the virus, it is instead hurting many students in several ways. 

Schools provide so much more than just education for hundreds of children. Students need their schools to be open and running for many reasons.

One reason is that many students rely on their schools for basic needs such as food. According to Best High Schools – US News & World Report, forty percent of Hillcrest High School students are eligible for the free lunch program. The income at home may be less than average giving one the eligibility to get free lunch from school under the National School Lunch Act. Not only is lunch available in school cafeterias, but so is breakfast. For many students, the schools are providing two out of the three main meals a day. 

Schools provide shelter for several students during the day. Whether you are informed about everyone’s living situations or not, there are many children in the area who have to go day to day wondering where they will be sleeping or where they will take care of themselves and their family for the day and/or night.

Another reason schools should stay open is for the mental, emotional, and social side of life for children. Through in-person learning, students are allowed to express themselves more freely and exercise their social skills. At this time, it is important for students to be able to confide in friends, teachers, and administrators for acceptance, confidence, and even love. Essentially, students need in-person interaction for their mental, emotional, and social health. 

Taking into consideration the risks of the virus, COVID-19, it is important to decide what is best for yourself and your family. Going to school in-person or online is a choice right now that is individual to everyone. If there are concerns about spreading or getting exposed to the virus, it is possible to stay home and still get the education desired. For those who rely on the school, it is important for everyone to do their part in keeping it a safe and comfortable environment. 

Shutting down schools at this time can be beneficial, yet very detrimental in certain cases. It is in the best interest of the students to keep the schools open and available for those in need, with that said, it is important that all who attend the school keep everyone’s safety in mind. Limit gatherings with people, wear a mask in public places, and keep up with personal hygiene.