GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of six Grand Haven High School students said they need to have in-person learning and they have a plan for the district to consider.
The students wrote a nine-page essay laying out their position and hope it has an impact.
“In no ways does this paper support putting community lives in danger,” Lexi Naperala, a junior at Grand Haven High School, said.
Naperala said she got involved to support her classmate, Gavin Hubner. He’s behind the creation of the essay.
“I remember when I was writing it, I went downtown Grand Haven and kids were lining the boardwalk, not wearing a mask, rubbing up against each other and I thought if they are allowed to do this outside of school, why can’t we put them in school, spaced 6 feet apart with masks on,” Hubner, also a junior, said.
A portion of the essay said in-person learning helps parents who can’t afford child care when working, struggle to feed their kids and don’t know how to help with homework.
“It makes me sad,” Hubner said.
The essay also cited data from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, writing “As of July 21, 2020, 6.6% of reported COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1% of COVID-19-related deaths are among children and adolescents less than 18 years of age in the United States.”
Beyond that, Naperala said in-person learning can impact a student’s mental health.
“Social interaction is so good to help heal that,” Naperala said. “With hands-on learning comes the engagement of students.”
The students’ essay did not encourage the district to reevaluate its decision. It will still offer in-person and online learning in the fall.
“Just make a wise decision about it,” Hubner said.
Students said their principal reviewed their essay and could consider using it for future reference.
School starts in less than two weeks.