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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why students should go back to class

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why students should go back to class

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To the editor:

I am writing in favor of Henry County Public Schools going back to school in person. Rather than babbling on and on, here are my thoughts in bullet points:

  • Science shows there is almost zero percent risk for 0-19-year-old’s catching COVID-19.
  • Those parents and teachers who wanted to opt out from in-person learning have the opportunity to do so.
  • HCPS has a robust safety and cleaning plan for schools to mitigate the spread of the virus.
  • Not going to school could actually pose higher risk to students of getting COVID-19. Students may be watched during the day by different caretakers, with different children from different areas. Safety protocols may not be followed by these caretakers.
  • Going to remote learning now almost ensures they will continue remote learning all school year. As flu season arrives, many will have COVID-like symptoms that will be the seasonal flu. However, it will be assumed to be COVID-19.
  • Not having kids in school will have negative long-term affects, especially for at-risk youth. Some students will never catch up because they lack the resources at home to be successful in a virtual classroom setting.
  • Extracurricular school activities are important. Whether a student does a sport, band or is in a club, these activities are critical for a well-rounded student to become a young adult. In many cases these activities lead students to pursue their future occupations or provide scholarships to college.
  • We know from research that during a normal school year 3-6 p.m. is the most dangerous time for students. During this unsupervised time is when many students are tempted by drugs and alcohol, affected by violence and engage in risky sexual behavior. Now, many teens will be unsupervised all day long.

As a society we must understand that there is risk in any endeavor. There are always consequences for our actions. In my perspective, the known, long-term harm done to students by virtual learning outweighs the possibility of being exposed to a virus.

BRAD KINKEMA

Collinsville

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