Should we continue in-person school or return to virtual?


Brian Skinner Jr.

Administration handing out take home Covid-19 rappid test, and KN95 Mask.

Saffiatu Johnson, Editor: Brian Skinner Jr

Have you ever gone through a significant life change? Did it present any difficulties for you? How has your entire way of life changed? That is precisely what most students had to deal with in March of 2020. Students were forced to participate in virtual learning for what they assumed would be a few weeks. Those few weeks quickly became months, and those months became a year. Many have asked if they should continue virtual learning or return to in-person learning upon returning to school. I believe that students should continue to go to in-person learning because it is better for students’ mental health, education, and health. There are rules and restrictions in place that have kept students safe. The regulations in schools are there to protect students from COVID-19.

 Mental Health

Everyone’s mental health is a vital concern. It became even more of an issue during the pandemic, particularly for students. Students were not compelled to stare at a computer screen all day and were incredibly bored. Virtual learning became a way of life for them. It is said that “children get much more than academics at school” (“Four Benefits of In-Person Learning”). They also become familiar with learning “social and emotional skills at school” (“Four Benefits of In-Person Learning”). This feeling changed after going virtual because many students felt isolated from their peers due to the lack of social interaction in online learning. Students started to feel lonely and less motivated to do anything school-related. This leads many to fall into a state of depression, and it becomes hard for anyone to help them as “mental health support and other services cannot be easily replicated online” (“Four Benefits of In-Person Learning”). To conclude, students need day-to-day interaction to prevent them from having bad mental health and health habits.


Schools had to close to be converted to virtual for safety concerns and for children to learn; yet, what is the point of being virtual if the students aren’t learning? There is a lack of structure in online learning, which “can be especially difficult for children with focus issues…”. These can cause “challenges working independently, or [for] those with IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans)” (Pediatric Care Group). These students need special attention, as it is difficult to learn anything without professional help. While at school, the “teacher to guide each student … [and form] good perspective on whether the children themselves are utilizing them to their best ability” (“Four Benefits of In-Person Learning”). Students have more opportunities to cheat during virtual learning, and teachers can’t honestly see their true performance. It is even more challenging for students to mix their home and school life. They get distracted easily and can’t focus in their classes and then “tend to procrastinate and set things aside, then deadlines are missed, and this can cause pressure, stress, and anxiety” (“Mental Health Effects of Online Learning”) on both students and teachers. At school, students can’t just get up to go wash dishes; they have to be in one class without any outside distractions. This makes it easier for students to interrupt what their teachers teach. Therefore, if students are home, it impacts their grades badly than when they are at school face to face with many resources at hand.

 Some believe that students shouldn’t go back to learning in person. They think that students should continue virtual learning due to the case increase. Although cases are increasing across the country, many counties like Baltimore County Public Schools, as stated by Cindy Sexton, the head of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, are “providing staff with KN95 to protect themselves and others” (Hayes). They have even gone far to establish “on-site PCR testing at schools experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks” (Hayes). Lastly, there will be “rapid home testing for students and staff for distribution in schools with persistent or schoolwide outbreaks” (Hayes). This is a way for students to be kept safe at school to start to get normal slowly. In conclusion, although there are some negatives about in-person learning, the different counties are trying their best to keep both the staff and students safe

 To conclude, I believe that students should continue in-person learning rather than continuing virtual learning. Although virtual learning has its benefits, it has more negative effects on students’ learning and mental health than in-person learning. Therefore, it is best if students continue in-person learning.