Unmasking the truth: How CCHS staff and students feel about reopening school Unmasking the truth: How CCHS staff and students feel about reopening school
BY KAMDYN ROHER Summer is ending and the school year is creeping upon us after months of quarantine and social distancing. Returning to campus... Unmasking the truth: How CCHS staff and students feel about reopening school

BY KAMDYN ROHER

Summer is ending and the school year is creeping upon us after months of quarantine and social distancing. Returning to campus is the new debate across the nation, with the decision impacting millions of families. Some individuals want to return to school like we have every year before, while others see the situation too dire to cause such potential consequences.

While Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) has deemed it necessary to continue online learning for the time being, schools across the nation have begun reopening and situations have already arisen. 

Near Atlanta, Georgia, elementary schools began the return to campus on August 3. By August 4, a second grader had already tested positive for the virus, causing their entire class to return to online learning for another two weeks after returning for just one day. 

This is a concern many individuals have since the student almost certainly interacted with their peers outside of their classroom. This could occur in environments such as at lunch, recess or other daily activities. However, for these schools specifically, it has yet to be determined if the student has infected anyone else. 

From another school in Georgia, this picture surfaced and the lack of masks is quite startling. In other public instances masks are required, yet in these halls they seem more like an option. The next few days consisted of the same deficiency in masks, so the school has since then closed for cleaning and disinfecting after nine students and staff tested positive for COVID-19. 

Masks have been proven to be a considerable factor in stopping the spread of the virus. However, individuals are still hesitant to wear them so it is likely for this inclination to flow into the classroom.  

“Knowing the kids at our school, some would and some wouldn’t [follow new rules],” junior Hannah Toft said. “Plus, I know I don’t want to wear a mask all day.”

Asking the over 2,000 students that attend CCHS to wear a mask all day would be a challenge, considering the fact that everyday security has to remind people to wear their IDs despite it being a requirement when on campus. 

Even if every individual on campus wore a mask, it is still not enough to ensure the safety of the majority since social distancing is still a requirement to combat the threat of catching COVID-19.

“Social distancing between students and faculty needs to be enforced, as well as disinfecting the classrooms throughout the day,” sophomore Jheineken Deliarte said. “Limited movement around campus, hand sanitizer dispensers that are easily accessible around school and more time spent outside would also be preferable.”

“Social distancing between students and faculty needs to be enforced, as well as disinfecting the classrooms throughout the day.”

Sophomore Jheineken Deliarte

These practices would make for an admirable approach to stopping the threat of the illness while still being able to return to school normally. However, it is hard to imagine this as a sound procedure that the school can follow, considering the time, money and effort that it would take. 

Nevertheless, keeping the school in a much cleaner state, in conjunction with an overall higher sense of hygiene, is a practical pursuit that students and staff are expecting. 

“I think I would feel most safe when this was no longer a threat,” English teacher Wendy Schauben said. “Perhaps when there is a vaccine available that people can take so that they are no longer at risk.”

According to Schauben, this situation is seemingly difficult and she clearly has her health and those around her as one of her top priorities. From a teacher’s standpoint, adhering to these new rules and procedures is a lot to ask of students, especially younger ones. 

“Personally, no, I wouldn’t want to return to campus soon,” senior Dylan Tamaroff said. “The numbers are still at a very concerning height. I would like to wait for them to drop a very significant amount so the positivity rate of the virus is very low.” 

Although online learning will come with its challenges, the possible repercussions that might come with the return to school in person may negatively affect the CCHS community. 

Illustration by Kamdyn Roher