Sports, but No School?
For almost a year, students and teachers have been learning and working at home due to Covid-19. As things started to open up around the state of New Jersey, the districts have been trying to bring back a little bit of normalcy. The Governor has allowed high school sports to take place, at various levels and with precautions, since the fall. Many have different views on this decision because schools are not in session, but sports that involve contact are taking place.
Nutley Public Schools have been shut down since March 2020. With elementary schools opening up for only a few weeks in the fall, high school and middle school students never had the opportunity to return to learn in-person, in the buildings, yet this year. It is planned all students go back to hybrid learning on March 1 and March 8. However, while we wait this long for schools to reopen, sports are in session. This year’s fall sports season was different for obvious reasons, appropriate precautions, the season was able to happen.
On the other hand, winter sports which have started recently, have been needing to quarantine considering the positive Covid cases and exposures in certain sports. With the plan of going back next month, it is thought by parents of students, the school environment will be safer than contact sports in which citizens of the town hope for no need to quarantine or at-home learning.
With several opinions regarding the current situation, I, a current freshman at Nutley High School, believe that schools should be in session if sports are. Considering sports that have already finished their season on a good note, and all involved direct contact with other participants. For example, football includes tackling players from other towns and cheerleading involves stunting close together. Nevertheless, both sports had a great season even with the precautions of the illness. To add on, football players did not have to wear a face mask while playing on the field.
I think that if this is allowed and worked out well, school should be able to open. In the school environment, students will be directed to wear masks, be socially distanced, have airflow in the room, and have their temperatures checked every day. These conditions will be safer and more precautious compared to how sports were played out which is why it should be allowed.
Even though I think schools should be open if sports are allowed, activities like sports are great for students’ mental health. Especially with the stress and change of remote learning, it is great for students to be doing what they enjoy outside of school. Also, the socialization aspect that has been out of everyone’s lives for a while now is finally back but in a safe way. To be able to see other people and be physically active at the same time is much needed after this long period of staying home. At school, kids will have an easier time learning and focusing while being safe, just like sports are positively affecting students.
With precaustions being taken and vaccines coming out, the school building will be a safe environment for students to learn in. Given that sports are being played with direct contact now and when vaccinations were not given out yet, students should be back in school where the atmosphere is safer than usual.