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STATON: Let them have school

Each year, the beginning of the new school year brings excitement for most school children across our nation.

That is how it should be.

Even though it has been nearly 55 years since I went to high school, I remember the excitement I felt going back to school.

It was even exciting to me to get on that big yellow school bus, ride to school and see everyone again.

I knew after the first day of school my best friend at the time, Ruth Whitaker (later Turley), and I would be on the phone that night to discuss what teachers we had, if there were any new cute boys in our class or just how our day had been overall.

This school year, however, there is not going to be much that is normal, unfortunately, for our students because of the COVID-19 virus.

Right now, our children and grandchildren do not know what to expect from this school year.

Though I only have five grandchildren that are still attending school, I still have an interest in how their school year will be.

I have a granddaughter who is a teacher and my husband drives a school bus. What happens during the school year will affect them a lot also.

Because of the virus, I think the mask should be worn, but for those with medical problems with breathing, I think they should be allowed to wear a face shield. Social distancing should be in place, too.

I do, however, think the school semesters should begin at the normal time with the students’ temperatures being checked in the mornings. After that, the school day should proceed as close to normal as possible.

Our kids need a feeling of belonging to something and school offers that.

For some, a social connection has not happened since school was closed in March. Being social is good for their overall wellbeing, especially their mental health.

To me, there is a danger to our kids’ futures if school does not begin as normal.

They will lose out academically on what they have learned and need to be continuing their education. They are in competition worldwide anymore. Being out of school for an extended time can lead to severe learning loss.

I truly believe in-person learning is the best way to teach our students.

The students that do not have parents who take an interest in their schoolwork are going to be left by the wayside. If they are left alone to do online work what happens when they do not understand?

I have to have a one-on-one tutorial when I learn something new if I do not grasp it at first. I am sure there are kids out there the same way.

Some students will not have a clue how to do their classes, and if they do not get a good start at the beginning of school it could affect them the whole school year.

I believe that is why in-person learning is so important.

As long as school is in session, teachers learn of child abuse that happens within in the homes. No one knows what is happening in homes across the state. Kids are afraid to ask for help, but often within the school system, it is evident by marks on the kids that could alert the authorities.

Teachers and school-related employees need money to feed their families and pay bills. The longer school is out, the more in debt some homes may become.

Our students need school to begin so their lives can get back to some sense of normalcy.

They need the social part of school. For some kids, they have not had any social experience since school has been out.

I think it can be done as long as the face mask or shields, temperature checks and space distancing are used.

The kids already know their lives have changed since March. They probably should be alerted that school may have to close again, but hopefully, it won’t.

I have tried to put myself in the parents’ place. I think if a form was sent to most parents, they would want school to start back normally or as close to normal as possible.

I realize they are going to worry about their child getting COVID-19 on any given day, but isn’t that what they are doing now?

I will be praying very hard for this new school year and wishing for the very best for all involved.

Let them have school.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.