Why students should go back to school


Photo by Lena McEachern

Students and teachers walk side by side protesting in support of going back to the classroom. This protest came nine months after in-person school stopped on March 13th.

AJ Griffin, Assistant Editor

A teacher to look at. A classroom to be supported in. A backpack to hold. Other students to talk to while walking from class to class. Students seem to have lost their high school experience to a random Friday in March.

Students are alone and having to go through the second semester of isolation through distance learning. Though initially slated to go back on January 5th (and then the 25th), the district sent a message to students and parents announcing that date had been postponed until further notice. With no light at the end of the tunnel for students, many just sit and wait. 

Students have been online for almost nine months now, rolling out of bed, walking 10-20 feet and then sitting in front of a screen for six hours — even before the homework begins. The drive for school has been lost. The blending of home life with school life was never supposed to be mixed like this. How are students not supposed to be stressed when they are staring at a wall of blue light for 10 hours a day just to roll back to bed and repeat the process for however long the district feels is right? The will to do homework is lost, the will to attend a class is nonexistent. This lack of motivation mixed with the “suck it up” mentality being pushed by some teachers along with copious amounts of work is leading to a record amount of flunked classes across California

Students need one another to succeed in school curriculum. The ability to have a distinct learning environment trumps all others, especially compared to the likes of sitting at a kitchen table surrounded by the family, using the school-issued computer that crashes when opening more than two tabs. 

The seniors of last year were revered as heroes and survivors having graduated while still having ⅔ of their year intact. Seniors this year have yet to go to prom — since it was also canceled last year — attend a senior football game, see their classes, or participate in a school sport. Freshmen this year haven’t experienced the campus, culture, and pride of being a Carlsbad High School student. 

In an email sent to students and families, the state government stated that all open schools shall remain open, meaning that had Carlsbad not backed out of the Jan. 5 (or Jan. 25) reopening date and instead gone forward in reopening alongside other neighboring school districts such as Del Mar and San Marcos, students would get to be in a safe and functioning learning environment. High schools around us opening and even thriving safely with new policies and measures to keep students safe.  

Carlsbad has spent an egregious amount of money on air filters to implement into all classrooms to safely accommodate for incoming students. The air filters mixed with students wearing masks, sitting in socially distant desks and a variety of other safety measures should allow for students who want to return to school to do so, safely. 

Certain teachers have been more than understanding with late work, only after an email is sent specifically asking for such. I do understand that times are tough for teachers and that we are in this together however, teachers still send out work at a rate that drowns students, with screen time often leading to migraines and exhaustion. 

The Carlsbad Unified School District needs to allow students back in person. However, this is not forcing students back to school if they are not comfortable with the in-person environment. If students have been begging to come back (as they have) schools need to allow for a functioning learning environment in person, not a half-developed system to just keep kids busy.