Opinion: MISD Should Keep Students Virtual All Semester

Opinion%3A+MISD+Should+Keep+Students+Virtual+All+Semester

Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash

Jordyn Folsom, Editor-In-Chief

Despite the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the district, MISD schools will open Sept. 8 as planned. The school board should call a meeting to discuss pushing back the start date of school until all staff in the district test negative for the virus. 

In an email sent to parents of Linda Jobe Middle School students Sept. 2, parents were made aware of one or more positive coronavirus cases on campus. Because the virus can survive anywhere from four hours to three days on surfaces, the campus will not be able to be sure of everyone who came in contact with the virus. This issue puts students at risk since symptoms of the virus may not appear until two-14 days after infection and contaminated staff members may not know they have it until students return to school. 

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, COVID-19 cases remained steady from about July 7 to Aug. 14, staying in the 7,000 to 14,000 range. However, when school began across the state around Aug. 15, cases dropped drastically and a noticeable dip in the curve can be observed on the DSHS’s line graph. Because of districts in hotspots choosing to begin the year virtually, cases continue to steadily decrease, proving that keeping students home and occupied with school work has reduced the spread of infection. 

While parents argue that helping their child navigate virtual school is too challenging because of insufficient WiFi or having multiple students at home, MISD has put out information to help alleviate stress from parents, as well as provide all learning platforms through Classlink. The district has also provided hotspots for those in need of service and plans to get in more for those still in need. Student safety should be parents’ number one concern, not the problems with virtual learning that can be resolved by putting forth the effort to learn how to use the platforms provided. 

The district needs to think more about doing their part to decrease COVID cases and less about listening to parent demands by keeping students virtual all semester.