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Guest commentary: It’s too soon for schools to return to in-person learning

A student does schoolwork online.
Students have had mixed reactions to online learning, but classrooms should not reopen while the coronavirus pandemic is active, La Jolla High School junior Grahm Churchill writes.
(File / Associated Press)

This commentary is being published both by the La Jolla Light (lajollalight.com) and the La Jolla High School Hi-Tide (ljhitide.net) as part of a partnership to give La Jolla High students the opportunity to express their views in the community newspaper.

It has been nine months since students at La Jolla High School have been in a physical classroom. Since then, the coronavirus has continued to spread, forcing the students in the San Diego Unified School District to stay home during this time. With the number of COVID-19 cases showing no signs of decline, it is extremely important that the schools stay closed during this time of uncertainty.

Students at La Jolla High have been forced to adapt to online learning, and many have not liked this new style. However, it is very important for schools to remain closed while this pandemic is active. Schools are places where the virus can spread due to the close proximity of students and the rotation of school materials, such as Chromebooks, among students.

And these risks are not just affecting students. Family members who live with them and are at high risk, such as sick or elderly people, are also put in more danger of contracting the virus if students return to school.

“My dad was exposed to the virus and tested positive a few months ago. I don’t know if I gave it to him, but either way, me going to school would not have benefited anyone’s safety,” said junior Frankie Castronovo.

Some may argue that it is important that we return to in-person classes as soon as possible to ensure that students are not falling behind. But students are learning to adapt to this new style of learning, and some like it more than the previous style.

“I actually like online learning more,” junior Lucas Cowling said. “Now that I only have three classes, I am able to concentrate more on an individual class, and I enjoy having a relaxed pace.”

Overall, it is crucial that schools remain online until it is 100 percent safe to return to in-person classes so we are not putting anyone’s health at risk. We cannot afford to put students or their families at risk of the virus.

Grahm Churchill is a junior at La Jolla High School.