As we begin the new year and the second semester starts up for students all over the country, many parents face the difficult decision of whether or not to send their kids to school, whether it be full or part-time. Although it’s not an option for all students, many school systems have begun to offer some form of in-person instruction as opposed to remaining purely virtual. However, as COVID cases continue to rise and the situation becomes increasingly uncertain, parents that were once expecting to send their kids to school this semester are reconsidering their options.
We asked both students and parents for their opinions on going back to school in person and how they feel about the risk. Here’s what they had to say:
Hanna (student): “I think going back to school in person next semester isn't a good idea. I mean, part of me wants to, because I miss interacting with people in real life. But then the other part of me knows that people will likely get reckless and not take the proper precautions for COVID. Also, taking online classes hasn't been too bad. I've been able to work on myself and spend more time with my family. I don't think there's ever been a time like this before. I'd like to think of this as a blessing and an opportunity, as well as a test."
Habib Rahman (parent): “I am not comfortable to send my kids to school because of the pandemic, the current situation is very unsafe.”
Anonymous (student): “I feel like it's still dangerous but not as dangerous because everyone is wearing their masks. But, in my school most people don't social distance, so it could still get risky and in that case, online is a little bit better. And, you do have the risk of getting Corona or someone else getting Corona and them infecting you. I feel like the vaccine should get to students as soon as possible because everyone is all over the place, so it's not completely safe yet."
Nida Khan (parent): “I think it is safer to keep kids in virtual school for this semester because the virus is still spreading and a vaccine is still not available for the general public. Staying home not only protects our kids and their immune-compromised relatives but also teachers and school staff.”
Anna Raquel Perez (student): “I honestly believe the school (I can really only speak for [Alpharetta High School]) is doing a very good job of keeping everyone 6 ft apart and enforcing good hygiene. I feel safe at school with everyone wearing masks and wiping down their tables. I also think that allowing the students to decide if they are coming or not helps to make sure that everyone is comfortable with what's going on and keeping their learning environment both safe and actually educational.
Shahana Rahman (parent): “I am not comfortable sending my children to school as it is not safe because of COVID 19. I am grateful for virtual classes to be provided for my kids and I hope online learning becomes more easily accessible as the months go on”
Anonymous (student):“I think schools need to improve virtual learning and make environments more safe. This isn't quality education and a lot of people are struggling.”
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