With COVID cases rising again with new variants such as omicron and epsilon most people are wondering if it is safe to return to school after winter break. Personally, I had the same concern not knowing if Freedom would have any extra precautions going into this new year in regards to keeping students safe and healthy.

Going back to school safely is a matter of opinion, it depends on what a student defines as safe. I personally try my best to be safe by wearing my mask properly, keeping my distance, and hoping that my peers will do the same. In my personal experience, some do but there are also a lot who don’t. There are people on campus who have different views on the virus and choose to make themselves comfortable rather than follow precautions that make sure other students are safe and comfortable.

In my English Class, we were asked to write about how we feel about COVID vaccines and so many students took it as an opportunity to try and educate people who don’t share the same views as them. To a lot of people, the “argument” of “anti-vaxxers'' or “vaxxers'' is black and white, with no room for an in-between. I am in between. I got my second COVID shot in June 2021 and coming into January I am due for my booter which I have decided against, most people are confused when I tell them that, wondering if I got it once why not just get it again. Personally, I have some concerns with my health that seemed to be magnified as a result of the vaccine and I don’t want to go through that again. I personally am not comfortable sharing that information about my health and I know that other members of our community feel the same way. It’s not fair that people judge based on your vaccination status, someone shouldn’t have to disclose their personal medical information in fear of being judged.

Whether or not someone is vaccinated shouldn't affect the way schools choose to keep students safe, California was the first state to make the COVID vaccine a mandatory vaccine. The decision definitely brought tension and pressure to the whole state, some people agreed with the new law and some didn't, for some people having COVID vaccination be mandatory makes them feel safe, but for some it makes them feel cornered. I don’t think they’re necessarily concerned

I think that overall most students do feel like school is safe, however certain people who don't follow rules tend to make students feel uneasy. In my math class, the student behind me chooses to wear a mask made of mesh that I can tell doesn't follow CDC guidelines. They choose to make themself comfortable and in doing so make me, my peers, and my teacher uncomfortable, making me fear that I will contract the virus just by getting my basic education. If students, staff, and faculty enforce the rules and guidelines already in place I think the school would be a safer environment and that more people would feel comfortable at school.

I think that there should be no question if school is safe or not, the fact that we have something to worry about is concerning and I think that schools should be trying harder to make students and their parents feel protected. Going back to school safely is a matter of opinion and personal preference but I personally don't think that going back to school is safe if students aren't going to be held responsible for the safety of all students. Going to school should be safe but as of now I don't feel safe going to school.