Opinion: LCN’s Triumphant return to school

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The hallways of L’Anse Creuse North will once again be filled with students. Photo Credit: Dominic Comfort

Dominic Comfort, Editor-In-Chief

  On Monday September 14th, the majority of High schools throughout Macomb County were ghost towns. To the dismay of many, their districts had cancelled in-person schooling, opting to start the year “virtually”, through a system of online education. However, the staff of L’Anse Creuse Public Schools seemed to understand the value of an in-person education more than others. On the morning of September 14th, students at L’Anse Creuse High School-North and L’Anse Creuse High School once again walked proudly throughout their hallways, as journeys were able to begin, friends and role models were reunited, and teachers and students alike were able to begin a new and much owed chapter in their lives, the 2020-2021 school year.   

    Despite taking every possible precaution to avoid the spread of illness and disease, L’Anse Creuse has of course faced criticism. But is this criticism justified? There are many reasons that lead the majority of people to say: no. Public Schools are a foundation of youth prosperity within Michigan and within America, and closing them is probably the worst thing that can be done to combat a pandemic. Over the past few months, many studies have been done that suggest viral spread among children relating to the coronavirus disease is much lower than originally thought. Public schools are a necessity to a community’s well-being, mental health, future, and overall state of good.   

  At its core, the decision to cancel school comes from out-of-touch higher ups, who know nothing of creativity, pushing forward, or seemingly, the will to persevere. What they do know, and they’ve made it clear, are of backwards cancellations, as well as restrictions that have great bearing on the lives of thousands of Michigan students, many of whom have had not their ambitions or dreams stripped away, but their opportunity to achieve their ambitions and goals stripped away, in one unthoughtful decision.    

   With how widespread and radical individual beliefs and misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic have both become, there is no way to appease all parties on the issue of reopening schools. The argument of teacher safety is a credible one, since teachers are the backbone of an education system. However, in the case of Macomb County, the extensive precautions made by the L’Anse Creuse school district to ensure safety of students and teachers alike borders on unnecessary. Precautions include; distancing, masks, disinfection, plexiglass, one-way hallways, modified schedules, and the list goes on. If a teacher feels unsafe, they should have every right and option to be able to stay home and teach virtual students. But the youth of Michigan cannot afford to have their right to a genuine education stripped away. The time spent in school is beyond valuable for most impressionable teenagers and children, whereas it can completely mold their morals, mold them as a person, and direct them down an abundance of opportunities in life, as opposed to staring at a screen and retaining nothing.   

    Throughout the past few months, the L’Anse Creuse school district has proven that not only do they care about the education of so many of Macomb County’s students, but they care about the student’s future and sense of belonging within a community. Without a genuine educational experience, any student would falter. Take an incoming ninth grade student for example. In a district that conformed to the socially acceptable “online schooling” method, that ninth grade student would never have taken this or that risk, they would have never have met that girl, joined that sport, lived this or that moment, or had their interest sparked to continue their education.  They won’t be able to achieve that scholarship, or build that bond with somebody close to them. Instead, the “virtual student” will be stuck spending the beginning of their high school experience staring at a screen. Is that teenager going to appreciate life? Are they going to actively seek out to expand their education, and soak in the elixir of life? Likely no, that student is not going to care because the education system decided they don’t care about that student.  

   The support systems that one can come across in high school are crucial to their development within life. Having quality support groups and people to be able to come to for help and guidance can be crucial, whether it be teachers, friends, teammates, or any of the miscellaneous but ever-valuable bonds forged through the discipline of the day by day journey that is the in-person education sector. is one of the most important keys to living a successful life. It is a reality that has stood the test of time, when there are successful people around somebody, they can grow to become successful as well. When a student has the opportunity to attend school and take classes which will help set them on a career path in life, encourage college attendance, and do so much more for a student than “virtual school” ever could.   

   With the choices LCN and the L’Anse Creuse district as a whole have made over the past few months of 2020, they have not only ensured educational opportunities granted to their students, but made strides that encourage many other school districts across Macomb County and even the state of Michigan that school can and should open safely. This fall at LCN, that ninth grade student will get the chance to join that club, play that sport, take that class, meet that person, and just maybe, their ambitions will be sparked and they will become something great in life. Without a doubt, the entire student body will look back on LCN in gratitude.