Why Schools Need to Reopen Now

Opinion: Cautious approach also carries risks

Ryan Witte, Guest Writer

Public schools in America have been closed for over a year and many defend this as the safest option. However the new studies have shown not only the possibility of getting back to normal, but also the new risks of this “safe” approach. 

Since the start of the pandemic, mental health has been declining among teens. According to a NBC New survey 56.4% of teens said they felt more stressed in the 2020-2021 school year than  the one before it. The survey also reported that 84% of remote learning students reported headaches and insomnia (symptoms of anxiety disorders), while only 78% of their peers in the classroom full time reported these symptoms. Suicides have also increased dramatically in many school districts using the remote learning model. Many are beginning to see the cost of the safe approach with the Las Vegas school district reopening due to doubling of student suicides since the previous year. The virus is not a thing to be afraid of. Like many have said before we need to look at facts without the taint of bias or political issues. We need to stop seeing the virus as the ultimate evil and start to balance the risks. Because no matter what we do their will be risks, we just need to keep the risks as low as possible.

Once we return to school there should not be a free for all since the virus is still a threat we should consider. But according to new studies there ways to significantly reduce the risk of the virus. A new study published in December 2020 states that, “As long as infection rates are under control, in-person school, whether it’s through a hybrid model or fully in-person, does not contribute to community spread.” This study means that schools do not increase the infection rates in communities (with masks and social distancing). Furthermore, this study was done without vaccinations meaning we could back to school now with low levels of risk. So what is still stopping schools from getting back to normal? 

The answer is mainly politics. One of the most tragic parts of this pandemioc has been the politicizing of the pandemic. When someone fights to keep infections down they become a Democrat and anyone who fights to reopen becomes a Republican. We need to drop these issues and do what is best for everyone. Because despite what the news might want us to think, there are good things going on. We aren’t in the same emergency we were in March and we need to start accepting that. Kids are suffering in their lonely worlds and we can help them. Schools need to reopen and get back to normal as soon as possible in order to save lives. It is not a question of politics or opinion schools need to reopen based on the facts.