Students petition for change

Anthony Johnson, Santa Fe staff writer

Since COVID-19 was deemed a pandemic, Edmond Public Schools (EPS) has implemented policies to ensure the health and safety of teachers and students. These include masks requirements, social distancing guidelines and additional cleaning of facilities. Issues and complications from these policies have led to a number of petitions.

Parents and students have taken to petition writing in hopes of changing policies at the district level. The contested hybrid schedule consists of going two days in school and three days virtually. This type of scheduling has benefited students by allowing for more freedom in their weekly schedule. However, parents are concerned that the lack of in person instruction is doing more harm than good. 

A/B is not enough. Our kids need to be back in the classroom. In the Spring of 2019, my child’s classroom had 12 out of 23 in attendance due to flu and strep and no one batted an eye,” said a concerned parent who signed a petition to go back to school.

 In the weeks leading up to the beginning of school, a team of administration, parents and teachers made the decision to return on a hybrid schedule. In part, the decision was based on the inability to properly social distance high school students populations over 2,000. 

Santa Fe principal, Jason Hayes, said “ If we go back five days a week that will make it more difficult to social distance, it will make it more difficult to keep the hallways to where they are not over crowded.”

Additionally, students and parents have noticed an overwhelming number of peers who are not wearing their mask while at school and sporting events leading to the creation of petitions in hopes of either making the policy stricter or disbanding the policy altogether 

A junior, Jessica O’zee, created a petition to make the mask requirements stricter during sporting events and school hours. This petition caught the attention of principal Jason Hayes, who continues to reform policies on mask restrictions during school events and school hours.

 “He’s making some changes for football games to keep people distanced. I’m not sure how well the Student council (StuCo) and the students are going to handle those changes,

EPS has acknowledged all of the petitions regarding masks and the hybrid schedule. However, they are not making a public statement at this time. In the spirit of working together, parents, students and administration continue to find the best solutions for the health and safety of Edmond Public Schools.

For more information email Anthony Johnson.