Editorial: Remote Learning Should Be An Option for Students Out With Sickness

Editorial Board

In an effort to leave remote learning as far behind as possible, this year Schreiber has decided to only allow people to attend class via Google Meet when they are legally required to quarantine. In theory, this is a good idea because it brings school back to somewhat-normalcy, but students should still be permitted to learn virtually either when they are out sick for more than one day, have had surgery, or are otherwise physically unable to come to school for a medical reason. With a medical note from a doctor, students should be allowed to attend Google Meets until they are well enough to return to school. 

Last year, when students followed the hybrid schedule, teachers quickly adapted to the technology that many of them once found foreign, and by the middle of the year it was pretty much smooth sailing. Because educators  are now so familiar with the technology, I don’t see why it would be a problem to let students who are physically restricted from coming from school, for reasons other than COVID, log onto Google Meets. It makes sense that it is a small inconvenience to have to start up a stream at the beginning of class, but this is something that takes one minute tops and is worth it in the long run. From a teacher’s perspective, when a student misses class for more than two to three days, that teacher typically spends a lot of their own time giving this student extra help and answering their questions during class time. So in fact, not streaming Google Meets for sick or injured students actually takes up more of a teacher’s time than taking 30 seconds to turn on the meet. 

In addition to being an inconvenience for teachers, not being able to do virtual school is a huge burden for a sick or injured student as well. Because Schreiber High School now has the technology to allow sick students to stay on track academically, why not take advantage of it? In the past, when someone was really ill and was out of school for a long time, they would come back extremely overwhelmed with a million things on their plate. Instead of this trouble, a student with a medical note from a doctor should be able to attend school remotely. A fair point from teachers is that students should not be allowed to go on the Google Meets while sick so that nobody is able to fake being sick to stay home for the day, but if students provide a doctor’s note then they should be permitted to learn from home. 

Because Schrieber now has the ability to stream class for students, it is illogical to prevent sick students from joining class remotely. Not permitting ill or injured students to join the Google Meets actually places more of a burden on both those students and their teachers, and if someone has a doctor’s note they should be able to do school from home.