OPINION: Closing schools the right choice


Zoe Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

On March 17, Governor Laura Kelly made the decision to close Kansas K-12 schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year due to the coronavirus. This decision came as a shock to many because she was the first governor to close schools for the remainder of the year. Since her decision, nine other states have followed suit. Although this decision came as a disappointment to many, its overall benefits greatly outweigh its disadvantages.

In a majority of states the amount of time schools will be closed is an unknown which has caused problems for both the students and the staff. If teachers do not know when school will begin again or whether the school year will be extended, it is difficult for them to plan ahead into the rest of the school. They can not make lesson plans because they do not know which lessons they will be able to get to. Keeping schools open, not only hinders a teacher’s ability to teach, but also puts more stress on the students by making this already uncertain time we are living in more uncertain.

School closures coming from the state level and not district level also allows schools to have clear guidelines on the curriculum changes for the rest of the year. That way the students statewide will all be learning the same information. If this was not the case students in districts that closed would be at a clear disadvantage because they were not able to learn at the same level as the districts that stayed open. 

Not only does closing schools help with learning, it also helps to prevent the spread of the disease. The coronavirus does not affect children at the same level it affects adults. This means childrens symptoms are usually mild and can easily be mistaken for a cold or not even be noticed at all. Although this is good for their health, this means children are more likely to walk around and not know they have the disease; therefore, spreading to more people. In a school, children are in a confined space that is the perfect place for an outbreak to occur and not just affecting children, but also adults.

The school closures in Kansas may seem drastic, but they are actually one of the best to prevent the spread of the disease. Even with schools across the country closed, the United States already has the most cases of any other country. If schools were open this number would be much higher. This is not a situation the world has ever been in and it has brought and will continue to bring changes to our everyday life. Schools closing is just one of the many necessary sacrifices we have to make to combat this disease.