• 55°

OUR VIEW: Glad to see students still in schools

In July, there was great fear in our community as the Troup County School Board and Superintendent Brian Shumate released plans on students returning to school.

Many parents understandably opted for their students to go virtual, while others masked up and went back to the classroom. There was also major concern around sports and how athletic competition was going to be held in the midst of this pandemic. We entered the great unknown as a community.

Don’t get us wrong. We knew a lot more about the virus in July than we did in March, when it first started to greatly impact the United States and shut down life as know it. But, up to that point, everyone had essentially avoided large crowds, and students hadn’t been in school. We had no idea what would happen once everyone got back in school buildings. Would it last a week? A month? How long could they possibly make that arrangement work? No one really knew.

We’re not trying to jinx it, but look at the calendar. It’s almost time for Christmas break, and students are still in the classroom. Sure, there have been some bumps in the road, but we’re not sure the first semester of school could’ve gone any better from a COVID-19 perspective.

A couple of schools have had to close for a few days due to virus cases and close contacts, but schools have mostly remained open. We should not that at one point, the Troup County School System had more than 500 people in quarantine, and virus cases are currently on the rise as the pandemic gets worse nationwide. This hasn’t been a cakewalk. But we still think it’s significant that students are still in school. Callaway High School is still playing football — hopefully for a few more weeks — but TCSS has basically made it through football season as well.

LaFayette Christian School has finished football season and even won a state championship, so athletics — with precautions in place — are continuing in our community.

Nothing about this is normal, but we still think it’s worth celebrating that we’ve almost made it to Christmas and school is still continuing. We’re not saying to relax. All it takes is a few people relaxing mask protocols for all of this to go wrong. But it is worth noting — it’s December, students are still in school, and we’re trending toward being able to finish the entire school year.

We credit administrators in our local schools for their leadership in making tough decisions to get us to this point. We know some disagree that students should be inside school buildings right, and that’s OK, but every school locally has provided students with an option where they can learn and be safe. If that’s in the classroom, then great. If that’s at home, then great.

The important thing is that students are getting their education during this pandemic.