Editorial: Why we shouldn’t return to school on Oct. 26


Courtesy of Amanda Huang, Amy Kang, & Angelina Zheng

Pavan Pandurangi, Editor-in-chief

On March 13, Principal Kurt Tenopir announced the final Viking Pride recipients of the 2019-2020 school year. Minutes later, he returned to the intercom speakers with a pressing message for the school; our spring break would span an additional week, after which, if conditions stabilize, faculty and students can return. In the two weeks following Tenopir’s announcement, the pandemic intensified, leading schools around the country to go remote for the remainder of the school year.

As the 2020-2021 school year passes the quarter-way mark, conditions in Illinois have worsened: daily cases on peak days have multiplied nearly threefold compared to the cases from March 31, Fremd’s first day of virtual learning. 

Though cases have risen significantly since the beginning of the outbreak, research has prompted numerous schools across the country to reopen their campuses, stating that by implementing adequate safety measures such as mandatory mask-wearing, acrylic dividers and temperature scans, in-person schooling would pose no issues. We appreciate District 211’s (D211) commitment to creating a safe environment for students and staff as they return to the school buildings. 

We understand that D211 believes that it would provide an increased quality of education on campus, but the underlying safety concerns caused by our return to school in late October overshadow the pedagogical and learning benefits. Although participating in the hybrid model will increase social interactions between students and teachers, it is more important to remember that resuming in-person learning increases the chances of COVID-19 transmission between students and faculty. Due to the potential harmful consequences of learning indoors with over 1000 peers, the Viking Logue staff believes that D211 should not adopt a hybrid-learning model beginning on Oct. 26 until the risk of transmission is successfully mitigated.