The Right and Wrongs at Holyoke High During COVID-19

The Right and Wrongs at Holyoke High During COVID-19

Samantha Ramirez, Herald News Writer

Holyoke High School North Campus is not taking the full measurements to keep students safe. The CDC’s guidance for COVID-19 prevention in schools says to wear masks consistently and to physically and socially distance. This means that people who are not vaccinated should maintain a six feet distance from each other. The CDC recommends ventilation because it can reduce the number of virus particles in the air. They also encourage hand washing, cleaning and disinfection, staying home when sick and getting tested. Those are just a few of the various safety precautions the CDC recommends to promote a safe school environment. 

Holyoke High School North Campus is not following all of these safety precautions to ensure the safety of the students and staff. There are various classrooms in the school that have too many students in them, which goes against the recommendation that there should be a limited number of students in each classroom. The hallways are also extremely crowded when transitioning from class to class. Students are very close to each other, which is not safe. Some of the school hallways have arrows that are meant to keep the flow in order. The school should put those arrows on all of the hallways. Students transitioning from class to class should follow those arrows throughout the hallways. All of these factors tie into the lack of social distancing during school. Social distancing is a very important safety precaution that the school should be taking seriously as well as enforcing. 

Students at Holyoke High School are not keeping the safety of others in mind. Both the school hallways and classrooms feature various students who either have their mask off or not on properly. The teachers ask them to fix their mask and the student either will do what the teacher asked or just ignore them. It is understandable that students need mask breaks. However, having your mask off for a longer period of time is not respectful or safe towards others. There are many students who live with their grandparents or other elderly individuals. If students are unsafe and not wearing masks, they run the risk of bringing the virus home to their loved ones. Wearing masks and wearing them properly should be mandatory when in school. If students are not going to follow that rule, HHS should return to remote learning because there is a lower risk of COVID spreading. 

Holyoke High School North Campus is working hard to keep students safe. The school has shut down many water fountains, which prevents the virus from spreading at rapid rates. I think that Holyoke High should shut down every water fountain in the school and develop another system to keep students hydrated. Despite this, what the school is doing now with the water fountains is a start. In addition to this, the teachers at Holyoke High North are recommending that students scan the QR code while at lunch. Even though a lot of the students do not understand the purpose for scanning the QR code, most comply. Scanning a QR code is a new system that has developed during the pandemic and is an excellent way to keep students safe. Teachers at lunch insisting and reminding students to scan the QR code and complete the Google Form for contact tracing purposes ensures that all students are safe.