Eye of the Editors: Schools are unprepared to reopen

As the start of school approaches, Diamond Bar High School students are preparing themselves for yet another month or more of distance learning. This news upset a majority of students as learning online  has its challenges, however with a vaccine yet to be discovered and coronavirus continuing its upwards spike, this was the best action for the school to take. 

To safely reopen their doors to students, DBHS should wait until the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped significantly within the state. Furthermore, the school must be provided with additional fees to cover essentials such as masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes.

Last year, when the situation was anything but dire, the school already proved unsuccessful in providing students with necessary sanitization products. For example, several classes had empty hand sanitizer bottles that never were  refilled despite promises that they would be replaced eventually. 

Keeping this in mind when DBHS plans to reopen, regardless of the month, major changes need to take place beforehand to ensure that this kind of incident is avoided. 

To start, the school would need to hire more custodians  and develop a new schedule that would allow staff to disinfect all rooms before class begins each period. Realistically, figuring out how to tackle this alone within time for the new school year is an unachievable goal. 

Additionally, staff would need to closely monitor each and every student on campus, ensuring they maintain a distance of six feet and have masks on at all times. However, with a student body of almost 3000, trusting students with this responsibility is entirely unrealistic. Add to this the infamously crowded hallways made worse by the construction projects and the situation  seems unmanageable. 

Unless a staff member was assigned to chaperone each student at DBHS, there is no way to guarantee that students will follow the strict social distancing guidelines under no surveillance. Given such circumstances, opening up physical school again could only cause more harm than good at this time.

Even if schools were to reopen, students would need to be sent home early or alter their schedules due to a lack of extracurriculars. Periods dedicated  to sports or band could not take place as students typically work in close proximity with each other or maintain physical contact in some way. 

Not to mention, music programs, such as marching band or orchestra, typically have much larger class sizes than the average core subject. Due to this, several students would have to find different classes to fill their schedules, which causes more complications as some classes may become overfilled. 

Unless the school starts regulating class sizes and supplying teachers with proper sanitization items, DBHS is completely unprepared to open its doors. But with both problems already being overwhelming issues, resuming in-person instruction seems to be  more out of reach than ever before. 

Ultimately, the safety of both staff and students must be taken into  consideration and the school must work on facing these issues first. Although learning online can be challenging, it’s the best option for schools to pursue, at least for now.