This week, at their biweekly meeting, the school board is slated to discuss the issue of keeping the hybrid schedule or returning to 4-days in-person learning for the rest of the school year. We, the staff of the Eagle Valley Student Media website, strongly urge the board to keep the hybrid model to complete this school year. Students Promoting Inclusion and Civic Engagement (SPICE), feels the same way on this issue, and they have created a petition. If you are a student and agree that safety comes first, please sign their petition that is being presented to the school board. We must keep our friends, family, and community safe.
Our whole lives, we have been taught safety first. It’s why we ski with a helmet on, we get out of the pool during a lightning storm, and don’t gather crowds in the middle of a pandemic. Lately, this mantra has been completely forgotten as the district folds to societal pressure for us to return to in-person learning while the pandemic is still ongoing.
If we were to move to in-person learning for the rest of the school year there would be 1,000 students in the school, and classrooms would be twice as full. This would make social distancing virtually impossible. There would be more people to get the virus from, more people to give the virus to, and the virus can move around from person to person easier with less distancing. Also, small groups or pods would no longer be feasible because everyone would be exposed to more people. Overall, exposure for every student would grow exponentially.
This is incredibly dangerous. If just one person gets the virus and has to be hospitalized, it would be detrimental for our community. Additionally, students have the ability to get the virus and bring it home, potentially infecting parents, grandparents, and others who may be vulnerable. This is a massive risk to take with people’s lives on the line, and it just is not worth it.
We are very close to the end of this pandemic. More and more people are becoming vaccinated every day. However, we are not there yet. There are still plenty of people in our school and their families that have not received the vaccine. It is our job at Eagle Valley Student Media to make sure these student voices are heard.
All of us students would prefer to be in person with our friends every day of the week. Surely, we would all be happier. However, we know that the risk is just not worth it. We learned from our parents and our teachers that safety comes first. We need to get to the end of this school year while protecting everyone in our community. Finishing the year in hybrid learning is the only safe and responsible decision that can be made.
The Eagle Valley Student Media Editorial Board is comprised of Carter Josef, Reagan McAdams, Hailey Gifford, and Bode Kostick.