Board fails with back to school

Students and faculty left confused with lack of plan for return


Our View

Over the past few months, the GPPSS school board has been trying to answer a question with no correct answer-what is the best way to educate students during a pandemic?

One might say the decision is simple; stay online until it’s safe, then put students back in school. But with every good idea, there are a thousand downsides. If we hesitate to put kids back in school, what happens to the kids in abusive homes? With poor Wifi connections? Who need additional educational support?

If we put kids back in school as soon as possible, how can we manage the spread of the virus? Who is at risk? Do we even have a plan for going back to school at all?

We at The Tower could publish a list of pros and cons of staying online versus going back in person, but we don’t believe that would be of much benefit to anyone. The choice has already been made, and the back-to-school schedule has already been published. The dangers of the virus have been established and analyzed, and with that data the school board has come to its conclusion.

However, we would like to leave everyone with this sentiment: it won’t matter how high your GPA is, how perfect your attendance is or what colleges you get into if you’re dead.

Because, perhaps, for every letter grade you feel like you’re dropping because online learning isn’t satisfactory, that’s one less funeral you need to attend. Maybe of a friend, a parent, a teacher, or an office or custodial staff member.

School is such a focal point in our lives that it is hard to accept taking a step away from it for even a moment. Besides just so we can socialize, we want to be in person to get better grades, to be in clubs, to polish our transcripts for college. We are so crushed by the Race to Nowhere that we’ve blinded ourselves to the greater issue at hand.

Additionally, we are in no way immune. In fact, Center for Disease Control (CDC) researcher Dr. Megan Ranney found that “young persons might be playing an increasingly important role in community transmission,” in an Oct. 2 report.

Overall, one revelation has been made abundantly clear. We must understand that at some points in our lives, we will have to make personal sacrifices for the betterment of the greater good. If we cannot get that point through our heads there is nothing an education, neither online nor in person, will ever be able to teach us.