Should Schools Practice Social Distancing in the Fall?

Sam Lee, Assistant Editor of Photography/Tech

Due to COVID-19 worldwide, people practice social distancing in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus. People will not know if there will be a vaccine for the virus yet when the school year starts again in the fall. Even if professionals find a vaccine in time or not, schools should not have to force children to practice social distancing.

By then, students will have waited five months to see their friends, assuming that they properly socially distanced until the school year starts. One motivation for most students to go to school is socializing with their peers. A lot of life’s memories are made in high school, such as finding your soulmate or making a life-long friend. Stripping away the act of socializing properly with student’s friends and relationships could possibly make students dread school even more for purely just learning and less socializing. This could result in increasingly high dropout rates.

Students need to socialize at school, but they also need to learn. All students have different learning styles. A student can be a verbal learner, aural learner, verbal learner or physical learner. All of these learning styles need a form of socializing and will help students in their learning process. Not only learning from a teacher can be helpful, but getting help from peers during class can help both sides of the party. Motivation and friends can really push a student to the best of their ability, but if we decide to go the social distance route, school life in general will be more challenging. Because the amount of rooms and space in a classroom is limited, having  students sit six feet away from each other can limit classroom space and make the learning opportunities and environment much more difficult for the students. Not only having limited space causes problems, the issue of extracurricular activities will be limited. Sports can not compete, UIL will change, and practicing for these events will be extremely difficult. 

All in all, this may slow the spread of COVID-19, but the experience and the reason why students go to school will be stripped away and make going to high school almost useless for the best education. This is why schools should not practice extreme social distancing in the upcoming year and other ways to manage those who may be ill should be implemented instead.