Alyssa Olivares, Staff Writer

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner  (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)
Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer

After nearly a year of distance learning, students and teachers are ready to return to campus. Cases in local areas are still rising, however we have something we didn’t have a year ago: a vaccine.  Similar to other immunizations, the COVID-vaccine will be required in the early stages of returning to schools.  When asked if immunization would be required within LAUSD, superintendent Austin Beutner said, “The short answer is yes. No different than students being vaccinated for measles and mumps or tested for tuberculosis before they come on campus. That’s the best way we know to keep all on the campus safe.” However, Buetner also mentioned that parents and students will still have an option to continue with online learning if they choose to not take the vaccine. A hybrid schedule has been proposed as a compromise which would most likely consist of small groups alternating between in-person classes and online instruction.

The COVID vaccine has raised much controversy because people do not trust it, due to how quickly it was developed as well as the fact it was developed during a highly politicized time. A huge question that many have been asking is, how will parent’s refusal to give their children the vaccine affect them as students? 

As students, we have no doubt distance learning isn’t as effective as attending in-person class.  A student studying at San Diego State wrote an editorial where she expressed, “There is a lack of willingness and desire to learn. Students simply complete their assignments to receive credit for a passing grade, rather than genuinely engaging with the course material.”  In addition to loss of engagement, online learning has been proven to heavily impact a student’s mental health negatively mostly due to lack of interaction.  Returning to school gives students a sense of unpredictability since they aren’t sure of what conversations they’ll have, who they will interact with, etc. in comparison to the same schedule of wake up, log in, and log out. Although there is still uncertainty about the vaccine, it is a possible solution for getting students back in school and one step closer to normality.

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