I am writing in response to Carson Yancey's My Voice in the July 25 edition of The Observer newspaper ("Kids should go to school like they used to"). As a rising seventh-grader at La Grande Middle School, remote school was incredibly hard for me and many people I know. But I think it's a horrible idea to go back to school in person if it means putting people in danger.

I agree with Carson Yancey's first thee points: that online school was annoying to students, that parents struggled to help kids learn and that technology issues can undermine learning. However, I find his final point — that school should open in person because kids are less susceptible to the coronavirus — flawed.

While the current scientific evidence does say the virus is less dangerous for children, in-person school would put all the adults who serve those kids at risk — some of them at considerable risk. Even if children are less likely to suffer a significant illness from the virus, they could pass it on to family members who are higher risk for significant illness. Lastly, even if children are less likely to get very sick from the virus, if even one child were to get a serious case and die, that would be too many.

So, in order to open schools in person, I believe strongly that we would need rigorous safety measures in place for everyone's safety, such as washing hands often, maintaining space between people even if it means students attending in part-time shifts, and wearing masks.

As much as I want to go back to school in person, we should only do so if it is safe for everyone.

Miri Koltuv

La Grande

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