By Lily Rusk, Clarion Editor in Chief
Since schools reopened in Fall of 2021, the issue on many minds is whether or not students will be safe from the spread of the virus, especially in a large environment. Schools have made efforts to control the situation. Various protocols have been instituted by school districts to address mitigating exposure to the Coronavirus, including social distancing, vaccination, and masks.
Social distancing is crucial in reducing the spread of COVID-19. One of the ways Kennedy enforced this was eliminating lockers, as well as instituting a ban on eating food and drinks in hallways.
In theory, these could be helpful steps; however, in actuality, social distancing is not being practiced by students. This is because students spend the majority of their time in-between classes crammed into hallways. While Kennedy protocols prohibit students from eating in hallways, some teachers allow their students to eat in classrooms, which defeats the very purpose of not eating inside. Due to a lack of teachers and substitutes, students were gathered in the auditorium for several weeks, without social distancing. This undercuts the notion that it was necessary to remove lockers in order to social distance if in general social distancing is not being practiced.
The regulations seem, at times, to be illogical and confusing. Vaccinations are said to be mandatory in schools; however, this mandate is not entirely what it seems. At Kennedy High School, only 63% of students are reported vaccinated as of 2/18/22. This is a frightening statistic as the unvaccinated are more susceptible to catching and spreading Covid-19, sometimes asymptomatically. Unvaccinated students are tested regularly at school – but in many cases, by the time they receive a positive test, the window of time in which to effectively contain the spread will have significantly diminished, which puts other students at risk.
While masks are currently mandatory at school, that doesn’t seem to stop many from attending school without one. It is unclear what, if any, sanctions exist for violating the rules. Some schools in the Sacramento area no longer require masks including the Roseville Unified School district; however, SCUSD has kept the requirement in place for now. As of March 12, California will no longer require masks in schools, but counties and school districts can keep the rule if they wish.
The current restrictions may appear reasonable, but in practice, many are contradictory, inconvenient, and even useless.