Editorial: Carlmont staff needs to accommodate student sickness

A year and a half of virtual school may not seem that long, but it will be a time that is never forgotten for too many high school students. Carlmont High School is now back in person! Shouldn’t students be excited?

After being gone for so long, one might think there would be no reason to be anything less than ecstatic about going back. A commonly overlooked factor of the return is illness.

According to the Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) COVID-19 Case and Vaccination Rate Dashboard, there have been 53 student and staff cases in the district and 13 cases at Carlmont alone.

While this number may seem small in proportion to the thousands of kids at each school, one may wonder how many cases are going undiagnosed and therefore uncounted. How can students and staff tell if the cough one may hear from the back of the classroom is just a common cold, or if it’s the COVID-19 virus if the majority of people aren’t getting tested?

One reason students who could potentially be spreading a deadly virus are continuing to go to school is that the staff has provided limited room for student absence. After being online for so long, there is no option for those experiencing sicknesses to attend school.

Due to the limited leniency for absences, many students experiencing sicknesses end up risking others’ health, so they do not harm their education. It is entirely unfair that students should have to choose between their health and their education merely by coming to school. To add to the ever-growing list of concerns, people must keep in mind that after staying in quarantine, the immune system responses in everyone’s bodies are weaker than previously and more prone to catch and be affected by common sicknesses.

In the hallways of Carlmont, one may hear students conversing about the consequences certain teachers have for missing even a single class. If teachers made more resources available from home, students’ health and education could avoid being sacrificed.

Some ways said resources could be more accessible includes teachers posting lectures online, being understanding of absences, and providing better opportunities to make up for the missed time. Despite these changes essential changes, people must also understand the vast amounts of work teachers have had to put into schooling over the pandemic. While this may have been a stressful and challenging experience for teachers to support students from home, we must keep the idea that students still need this support.

The staff at Carlmont High School needs to prioritize health before the results prove to be possibly detrimental to many grades and our community.

* This editorial reflects the views of the editorial staff and was written by Julia Roseborough