Kaitlyn’s School of Thought: large groups of students should not be on-site during the fall semester


Kaitlyn Edwards

In her weekly column, Kaitlyn’s School of Thought, Norse Notes’ Kaitlyn Edwards shares her opinions surrounding all topics about being a high school student and academic issues.

The Campus Reopening Subcommittee, a subcommittee of the RJUHSD Board of Trustees, is meeting today, September 4, to discuss the current guidelines to reopen schools in the district.

Some students believe that schools should reopen quickly because of the loss of athletics, social events sponsored by Oakmont, and the loss of vital human contact.

Of course, I would love to go back on-site, because I miss making strong connections with both my teachers and fellow students, as well as cheering under the Friday night lights. However, with so much unknown about COVID-19 and the long-term effects of it, as well as the known short-term effects, large groups of students should not be back on-site.

Since COVID-19 has not been known about for more than one year, the long-term effects of it are still being researched. With that being said, many students do not understand how devastating having COVID-19 can be.

Walking across campus during passing periods and lunch would be a challenge while social distancing. Even with just a third of students on campus, having about 600 students would make it extremely difficult to keep six feet between all students.

Athletic practices have been put back on-site this past week, which has brought to light how difficult it is to force students to wear a mask and maintain a six foot distance between each other. 

While at my own practice this week, I saw athletes that did not socially distance themselves the entire time without a mask on. This will only happen more often when the number of students on campus increases.

Furthermore, the simple check-in form that athletes need to fill out in order to go to practice on campus allows students to be untruthful about whether or not they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and if they have a fever. Because so many athletes miss their teammates so much, students could be lying on their forms to go to practice, endangering their teammates, coaches, and others that they come into physical contact with. 

This will likely continue if students need to fill out a check-in form to go on campus for their classes, since so many students miss their classmates and teachers so much.

Additionally, many students and staff members live with someone who is immunocompromised or they are immunocompromised themselves. A large number of students feel that they learn better in person than they do online, so students could endanger themselves or others because they will feel like they have to choose between their health and safety or their education. No student should have to make this kind of decision.

Some students also need to take the bus to get to school. As a student who used to take the bus everyday, I know that the busses are overflowing with students, with three students in each seat. To actually social distance on a bus, more busses would be needed to accommodate for the change. This would cost a lot more money because more resources would be needed.

In totality, students should not go back on-site in large groups until COVID-19 has been researched more and is more so under control, so students are able to be more educated about the effects and risks of COVID-19 are to ensure campus is a much safer place for students and faculty.