How come no one asked us?

Paige Smith, Editor

7:25 AM: August 24, 2020. Taylorsville High School started up the 2020-2021 school year. However, this school year brought new changes that no one expected. These new changes include: 

  • Masks are required
  • Sanitizing desks and chairs after class
  • Maintaining 6 feet social distancing
  • Prepackaged lunches
  • District-grade hand sanitizer for teachers and classrooms
  • Fridays are mandatory distance learning days
  • There are no late start Mondays
  • Hybrid classes

Although students have the option to distance learning, the majority of students have come back to school. However, packing so many adolescents into a school could be highly dangerous with the virus still present.  

“I think that we are coming back to school a little prematurely,” says junior Leena Bath, “Yes, school is very important for both intellectual and social reasons, but in our current society I think it is also seen as a type of daycare. The virus is still running rampant, and while it shouldn’t affect our day to day lives as much as it has, I also think we need to be more mindful of it.”

The teachers had countless meetings and messages over the summer from administrators explaining the tentative school schedule to teaching both face-to-face classes and distance learners online at the same time. Almost every week the plans changed and ideas were scrapped. Yet, no student was contacted to discuss how these new changes would affect them. 

Except for Tyler Cox, the Student Body President, students were left in the dark for the majority of summer. Why? Students are the majority of the school’s population. It makes sense to contact them to see how they would be impacted by certain decisions, such as late start Mondays or hybrid classes. Some may argue this is another way that adults put down teenagers for the simple crime of not being older than 18. Teenagers are often discredited because they are too young or don’t know what they’re talking about. 

But, the students, not just parents, are concerned about the administrative detail surrounding opening schools back up. On this matter, it makes sense that students weren’t contacted, for students would more than likely choose convenience over safety. But, the students were impacted by distance learning of the last term in the 2019-2020 school year. Students had no decision on whether or not distance learning was changing, which makes no sense after the borderline disaster of the first attempt at distance learning. 

“I feel like there can be improvement on it [distance learning]. When COVID hit, some of my teachers didn’t know how to do Gradebook or Canvas,” said senior Byron Dalton. 

It makes no sense that no student was contacted to even get a second opinion on matters at the school. “I definitely think students should have had a say in the new guidelines! It is our education and our experience just as much as our parents or teachers. […] We still have things to say,” explained Bath. 

It’s the time-old paradox of teenagers: adults expect them to act like fellow adults, however, they treat teenagers and especially students as children left to be obedient and silent. Hopefully, the rest of the school year will include more student to faculty communication.