COVID-19 controversy

Students debate the necessity of safety protocols in school

Rohani Khan and Marsida Cukaj, Staff Writer

COVID-19 cases rise at an astonishing pace due to its variants, and schools need to protect their students by placing COVID-19 safety protocols, like mandatory quarantines and a mask mandate.
A study of an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt found that use of face coverings on-board was associated with a 70% reduced risk of contracting COVID-19. Schools urge for normalcy, but they do not place the proper safety precautions to make it happen. In order to slow the spread, a mask mandate is necessary along with mandatory quarantines.
Introducing stricter policies would benefit the students’ mental health because there would be less death in the community. More progress would be made in moving past the pandemic, as far as the number of cases go, and safety protocols can be moved past altogether. Ignoring the death and illness in the community is not the answer.
Virtual learning was available, but not everyone who prefers their health over socialization can learn remotely. They want normalcy just as much as the next person. Unity in safety protocols will keep people healthy and lead to a normal life once again.
Falling behind in school might be an issue with a quarantine policy, but its the less evil option compared to spreading a deadly virus to loved ones and classmates alike.
UCS needs to place more safety precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID and its variants.


COVID-19 has greatly impacted students through their health, education and their voice. They’ve been told what to do and have had no say in it, so COVID-19 protocols need to be abolished.
Masks cause health issues too. For people with preexisting lung conditions, carbon dioxide levels could increase, according to the American Lung Association. It should be up to each student how to handle the pandemic.
Masks are distracting and reduce one’s ability to communicate and connect which takes a toll on students’ mental health. School closings and enforced social distancing put teens at a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression due to isolation, according to PubMed. These ‘safety’ protocols put students in danger of another pandemic: mental illness.
This school year, students had the choice of in-person learning or virtual learning. Those who feared COVID-19 opted to stay home, so the students in the building are comfortable without restrictions and mandates. There’s no need to send them home.
Yet again, the new policy of optional quarantining might lead to an increase of cases. However, it’s necessary because students are now able to continue on with their school life normally without missing out on valuable class time and falling behind.
Someone else’s fears should not get in the way of teens’ meeting their social needs. Teens should take control of their lives and decide for themselves how to fight against the pandemic by waking up and fighting for the future, freedom and rights of all students.