Opinion: COVID-19 regulations should continue to be relaxed

Opinion: COVID-19 regulations should continue to be relaxed

Students need a return to normalcy. Prom. Homecoming. Assemblies. To deny students these events is to rob them of their high school experience. School restrictions need to be relaxed to allow students to properly enjoy their year.

The gradual lowering of COVID-19 regulations, such as this year’s optional mask policy, is allowing students to feel normal again. Some may call these decisions reckless, but having a normal environment for learning is essential for many students. Perry can maintain its status as a safe campus while still providing its students a proper high school experience. Accommodating Perry’s almost 4000 students is already difficult enough without irregularities.

Online learning simply does not work for many students. Easy access to cheating may hide this, at least in the grade book, but student learning should not be sacrificed. To pretend online learning is a suitable replacement for physically being in class only hurts the students that will one day be running the world. Online learning also forces teachers to compromise on creative lesson plans. Hands-on classes are especially hard to adapt for digital learning. It’s hard to do a chemistry experiment at home.

The removal of school events has already denied two Senior classes an opportunity to have their prom. School is about more than learning for students, it’s about self-discovery, seeing friends and making new ones, and creating memories. Unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that happen exclusively in high school are being replaced by sitting behind a screen half-listening to a teacher’s lecture. Students only get to go to high school once, so that experience should be allowed to be fun. 

Canceling major school events just lets the animals run the zoo. No matter what action the district takes, there will always be a prom. The school would not be preventing anything from happening by canceling a prom or homecoming, they would simply be putting these events in the hands of students. Letting students run these events works fine, if not better for students who may enjoy the less controlled atmosphere, but also completely cuts adults out of the loop. This means that one of the biggest gatherings of teenagers for the year will only have rules made by other teenagers, which could result in a much more wild night.

To deny students the ability to have a ‘normal’ high school experience is denying them memories they may cherish for the rest of their life. It denies students skills and experience they will use to connect with others even after high school. It would also make the transition to college or trade school, which is already a pain point for many students, much harder.  

High school students need their school running in top shape so they can learn, make memories, and safely enjoy an extremely unique part of their lives.