Online students penalized for staying remote

Sophia Sgourakis, Section Editor

As most students start to learn in person again, all I notice is, “You must be an in-person learner to attend…” Students who chose to stay home are not given the opportunity to attend any school event. Maybe I am biased because I am a remote learner, but I believe that students who choose to stay home should be given equal opportunities.
The tactic that is used to exclude online learners seems like a punishment. As if students at home should be punished for something that was an option. If remote learning is an inconvenience and if everyone should be at school learning, why give the option of remote learning? For some students, they are not comfortable being back in school with crowded halls and classrooms. For other students, they may need to stay home to help around the house and with younger siblings. In my case, learning online makes more sense for my work schedule than driving down to school for only four classes.
The most off-putting event that remote learners are excluded from is prom. There are a lot of things wrong with the decision making for this circumstance. First, I believe that all seniors should be allowed to attend prom. Once again, I might be biased. Everything has been taken from us all year and this is the one event that we will remember from our senior year. I don’t think it should be up to the school board to decide who can and can’t attend. Remote students may be more comfortable because the dance is outside, rather than in an enclosed space. The parents of students should be the ones to make the decision on whether their child can attend this dance.
As a senior in NHS and a remote learner, my opportunities to complete service hours are limited. Although I can attend community events, most students rely on school sponsored events to earn the minimum number of hours to graduate as an NHS member. For NHS Induction Ceremony help, you must be an in-person learner. For Parochial Student Registration Night, you must be an in-person learner. For soccer ball shagging, you must be an in-person learner. There are some volunteer opportunities that include remote learners; however, there is no doubt that we are at a disadvantage for completing hours.
Overall, I get the feeling that remote learners are punished for choosing to stay home. It has been a tough year for everyone, and I think everyone needs to do a better job of respecting other people’s decisions regarding learning this year.